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Horace Parlan

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Horace Parlan has overcome physical disability and thrived as a pianist despite it. His right hand was partially crippled by polio in his childhood, but Parlan's made frenetic, highly rhythmic right hand phrases part of his characteristic style, contrasting them with striking left-hand chords. He's also infused blues and R&B influences into his style, playing in a stark, sometimes somber fashion. Parlan has always cited Ahmad Jamal and Bud Powell as prime influences. He began playing in R&B bands during the '50s, joining Charles Mingus' group from 1957 to 1959 following a move from Pittsburgh to New York

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

Charles Mingus: An Essential Top Ten Albums

Read "Charles Mingus: An Essential Top Ten Albums" reviewed by Chris May


Charles Mingus was rarely a happy man and yet his music possessed a power to uplift listeners unlike that of most other composer / bandleaders before or after him. It still has that power in 2021, four decades after his passing and on the eve of his hundredth anniversary in 2022. In his personal life, too, ...

News: Recording

Doug Raney: Meeting the Tenors

Doug Raney: Meeting the Tenors

In April 1983, guitarist Doug Raney, son of guitar great Jimmy Raney and a stunning player in his own right, assembled quite a sextet at the studios of Criss Cross Records in the Netherlands. Joining Raney were two tiger tenor saxophonists—Dutch player Ferdinand Povel and Swedish hornman Bernt Rosengren, who doubled on flute. In the rhythm ...

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Article: Album Review

Archie Shepp & Jason Moran: Let My People Go

Read "Let My People Go" reviewed by Mark Corroto


Now an octogenarian, Archie Shepp's name is quite often spoken in the same sentence as that of John Coltrane. Shepp was born a decade after Trane and is associated with the great one's 'New Thing' and 'Fire Music.' His music though, post-Ascension (Impulse!, 1965), might be better equated to that of Billie Holiday, who was born, ...

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Article: Album Review

Conference Call: Prism

Read "Prism" reviewed by Mark Corroto


Conference Call is a quartet, but could also be described as a trio+ because the core members—saxophonist and bass clarinetist Gebhard Ullmann, pianist Michael Jefry Stevens, and bassist Joe Fonda—have been touring and recording together for more than two decades. The plus moniker derives from the quartet's interchange of drummers. Early on, the seat was occupied ...

News: Birthday

Jazz Musician of the Day: Horace Parlan

Jazz Musician of the Day: Horace Parlan

All About Jazz is celebrating Horace Parlan's birthday today! Horace Parlan has overcome physical disability and thrived as a pianist despite it. His right hand was partially crippled by polio in his childhood, but Parlan's made frenetic, highly rhythmic right hand phrases part of his characteristic style, contrasting them with striking left-hand chords. He's also infused ...

News: TV / Film

Documentary: Horace Parlan

Documentary: Horace Parlan

The response to my Horace Parlan post earlier this week was enormous. Parlan really was special and should be thought of as one of the Top-10 post-war piano greats. So why not another post on Parlan. Though I posted the following documentary some years back, I thought I'd post it again for the thousands of readers ...

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News: Recording

Horace Parlan: Movin' + Groovin'

Horace Parlan: Movin' + Groovin'

By now, it's no secret that Bill Evans is my favorite pianist. In second place would have to be Horace Parlan. Born in Pittsburgh, Parlan at a young age contracted polio, which left his right hand partly disabled and disfigured. Two of the fingers in his right hand were out of commission. As a result, his ...

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Article: Radio

John Patitucci, Dick Oatts, Count Basie and More

Read "John Patitucci, Dick Oatts, Count Basie and More" reviewed by Joe Dimino


This week we focus on new releases and look for a unique perspective on this COVID-19 pandemic world. We hear from John Patitucci, Avram Fefer, Paul Jost and Marc Benham. This hour also features a host of legends and a special dedication to Chadwick Boseman. Playlist John Patitucci with John Beasley “Sam Rivers" MONK'estra ...

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

Jazz & Film: An Alternative Top 20 Soundtrack Albums

Read "Jazz & Film: An Alternative Top 20 Soundtrack Albums" reviewed by Chris May


Jazz and the movies have a shared history stretching back almost a hundred years. The relationship came into its own in the US in the mid twentieth century. Elia Kazan's 1950 movie Panic In The Streets is an early example of how film makers used jazz-based soundtracks to enhance drama and atmosphere and create ambiances of ...


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