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Horace Parlan

Horace Parlan overcame physical impairment and thrived like a pianist in spite of it. His correct hand was partly handicapped by polio in his years as a child, but Parlan produced frenetic, extremely rhythmic right-hand phrases section of his quality design, contrasting them with stunning left-hand chords. He also infused blues and R&B affects into his design, playing inside a stark, occasionally somber style. Parlan constantly cited Ahmad Jamal and Bud Powell as excellent influences. He started playing in R&B rings through the ’50s, becoming a member of Charles Mingus’ group from 1957 to 1959 carrying out a move from Pittsburgh to NY. Mingus aided his profession enormously, both through his recordings and his impact. Parlan used Booker Ervin in 1960 and 1961, after that in the Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis-Johnny Griffin quintet in 1962. Parlan used Rahsaan Roland Kirk from 1963 to 1966, and got a strong group of Blue Notice recordings in the ’60s. He remaining America for Copenhagen in 1973, and obtained international recognition for a few spectacular albums on SteepleChase, including a set of superb duet periods with Archie Shepp. He also documented with Dexter Gordon, Crimson Mitchell, Frank Foster, and Michal Urbaniak, and documented thoroughly for Enja and Timeless. He passed away in Denmark in Feb 2017 at age 86.

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