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Horace Parlan - The Complete Horace Parlan Blue Note Sessions

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The Complete Horace Parlan Blue Note Sessions

Horace Parlan

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"Horace who?" That's what one is likely to encounter when excitedly talking of this set to jazz pedestrians. And it's not their fault, either. People who are reasonably familiar with the music can be excused for not hearing of the great American hard bop pianist who has made his living from Denmark since 1972. At age 70, Parlan is still a pianist of enormous talent, but is rarely heard on this side of the Atlantic. The Mosaic set compiles all seven of Parlan's sessions as a leader from 1960 through 1963 -- Movin' and Groovin', Us Three, Speakin' My Piece, Headin' South, On the Spur of the Moment, Up and Down, and Happy Frame of Mind -- and his work on the label as part of Booker Ervin's band on Back From the Gig. Before becoming a leader, he enjoyed the honor of being Charles Mingus' pianist (1957-1959), during an era that saw the release of two of Mingus' finest records: the groundbreaking Blues and Roots and Mingus Ah Um. One of the reasons for the richness of those recordings was Parlan's style. A pianist who suffered from polio since the age of five, the fourth and fifth fingers of his right hand were useless. He compensated by using the thumb and first two fingers to complete extended chords normally handled by the left hand. But, to become a soloist, he developed a style that Mingus would find irresistible: He would use short melodic runs with the right hand and build them into chunky percussive chords that had the density of Red Garland's and the gutbucket funk of Horace Silver's, all while rooted in the blues. The Movin' and Groovin' sides tell the whole story in a way. The set begins with a formalist interpretation of "C Jam Blues, a tune on which many of Parlan's rhythmic and melodic principles are showcased. Much of Parlan's inventiveness is built upon repetition, which is used as a structural device to dull the harmonic movement of a particular tune. Here, he uses thick, block-like chords in non-varying eighths against a minimal set of right-hand lines that grow more elaborate with each pass through the chorus. Elsewhere on the album, on "Up in Cynthia's Room," a badassed blues gives way to an ostinato of shimmering color and grace. It was used again with a quintet on "Speakin' My Piece," with more of the dark blues funk percussively added to Parlan's solo to make it stick out among the horns. Another of Parlan's hot moves is his rooting in the gospel traditions for which repetition was made, varying phrases just enough to move the tune along without edging it too far from its harmonic root -- give a listen to the preacher's shout in "Wadin'" for an example of this. Slide-and-jump and call-and-response methods are employed over and over again, with chords built by the minute to juxtapose his short rhythmic melodic eight hand inventions against. Al Harewood on drums and bassist George Tucker were one of the steadiest, most rock-solid rhythm sections in the music at the time, capable of backing any soloist. They are present on all but two Parlan sessions, the first of which has Sam Jones on bass and the last which features Butch Warren and Billy Higgins on bass and drums, respectively. Parlan's choice of material, from the mainly standards bag of the first couple of recordings to the mix of original compositions and bandmates' material on the other four, is an evolution of the music as much as it is of Parlan himself. After 1961, the hard bop trend was to keep it all inside the unit wherever possible. Even on Booker Ervin's date (with Grant Green on guitar) that ends the set, the tunes tend to be homemade and written for the band. With horn players, Parlan really shined as a soloist. His sessions with Stanley and Tommy Turrentine for Speakin' My Piece showcase his structural style in a manner that gives the soloists more freedom and elongates the blues line to an extent that it almost disappears. With his varying placement of meter and his shifting of harmonics always toward the blues end, ostinato becomes a natural extension of meter and rolls off the end onto another chorus, giving the appearance that the 12-bar blues has been subverted. His short, tight, intense bursts of sound are small, span-wise, but resonant for the horn player or bassist who is playing off of them. Of all the recordings here, perhaps Up and Down, his second from last as a leader, is Parlan's signature album from the period. "The Other Part of Town" is an outlandish bit of harmonic strangling on Parlan's part, with Booker Ervin's trademark tone spitting through the mix and Grant Green funking it up just enough that Parlan has to take control with huge chords played in blocks all around the his phrase-like melody, which builds and releases tension before turning around on about the tenth chorus and restating the blues theme for the other soloists. Parlan may not be the best-known of Blue Note's piano giants, but that doesn't make him any less an architect of the hard bop sound of the early '60s, as this wonderful box -- with Mosaic's usual exhaustive annotation -- so profoundly attests.
© Thom Jurek /TiVo

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The Complete Horace Parlan Blue Note Sessions

Horace Parlan

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1
C-Jam Blues (Remastered)
00:05:11

Duke Ellington, ComposerLyricist - Rudy Van Gelder, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ron McMaster, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Alfred Lion, Producer - Horace Parlan, MainArtist

(C) 2012 Blue Note Records ℗ 2000 Blue Note Records

2
On Green Dolphin Street (Remastered)
00:05:27

Ned Washington, Author - Rudy Van Gelder, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ron McMaster, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Alfred Lion, Producer - Horace Parlan, MainArtist - Bronislaw Kaper, Composer

(C) 2012 Blue Note Records ℗ 2000 Blue Note Records

3
Up In Cynthia's Room (Remastered / Edit)
00:05:25

Rudy Van Gelder, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ron McMaster, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Alfred Lion, Producer - Horace Parlan, Composer, MainArtist

(C) 2012 Blue Note Records A Blue Note Records Release; ℗ 2000 Capitol Records, LLC

4
Lady Bird (Remastered)
00:05:02

Rudy Van Gelder, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ron McMaster, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Alfred Lion, Producer - Tadd Dameron, Composer - Horace Parlan, MainArtist

(C) 2012 Blue Note Records A Blue Note Records Release; ℗ 2000 Capitol Records, LLC

5
Bags' Groove (Remastered)
00:05:46

Rudy Van Gelder, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ron McMaster, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Alfred Lion, Producer - Milt Jackson, Composer - Horace Parlan, MainArtist

(C) 2012 Blue Note Records A Blue Note Records Release; ℗ 2000 Capitol Records, LLC

6
Stella By Starlight (Remastered)
00:06:03

Ned Washington, ComposerLyricist - Rudy Van Gelder, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ron McMaster, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Alfred Lion, Producer - Victor P. Young, ComposerLyricist - Horace Parlan, MainArtist

(C) 2012 Blue Note Records A Blue Note Records Release; ℗ 2000 Capitol Records, LLC

7
There Is No Greater Love (Remastered)
00:06:44

Marty Symes, Composer - Rudy Van Gelder, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ron McMaster, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Alfred Lion, Producer - Isham Jones, Composer - Horace Parlan, MainArtist

(C) 2012 Blue Note Records A Blue Note Records Release; ℗ 2000 Capitol Records, LLC

8
It Could Happen to You (Remastered)
00:03:20

Rudy Van Gelder, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ron McMaster, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Alfred Lion, Producer - Johnny Burke, Author - Horace Parlan, MainArtist - Jimmy Van Heusen, Composer

(C) 2012 Blue Note Records A Blue Note Records Release; ℗ 2000 Capitol Records, LLC

9
Us Three (Remastered)
00:04:34

Al Harewood, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Rudy Van Gelder, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ron McMaster, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Alfred Lion, Producer - George Tucker, Upright Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Horace Parlan, Composer, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

(C) 2012 Blue Note Records A Blue Note Records Release; ℗ 2000 Capitol Records, LLC

10
I Want To Be Loved (Remastered)
00:04:51

Rudy Van Gelder, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ron McMaster, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Alfred Lion, Producer - Horace Parlan, MainArtist - Savannah Churchill, Composer

(C) 2012 Blue Note Records ℗ 2000 Blue Note Records

11
Come Rain Or Come Shine (Remastered)
00:06:25

Johnny Mercer, ComposerLyricist - Harold Arlen, ComposerLyricist - Rudy Van Gelder, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ron McMaster, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Alfred Lion, Producer - Horace Parlan, MainArtist

(C) 2012 Blue Note Records ℗ 2000 Blue Note Records

12
Wadin' (Remastered)
00:05:53

Rudy Van Gelder, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ron McMaster, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Alfred Lion, Producer - Horace Parlan, Composer, MainArtist

(C) 2012 Blue Note Records ℗ 2000 Blue Note Records

DISQUE 2

1
The Lady Is A Tramp (Remastered)
00:07:09

Richard Rodgers, ComposerLyricist - Lorenz Hart, ComposerLyricist - Rudy Van Gelder, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ron McMaster, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Alfred Lion, Producer - Horace Parlan, MainArtist

(C) 2012 Blue Note Records ℗ 2000 Blue Note Records

2
Walkin' (Remastered)
00:07:06

Rudy Van Gelder, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ron McMaster, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Alfred Lion, Producer - Horace Parlan, MainArtist - Richard Carpenter, Composer

(C) 2012 Blue Note Records ℗ 2000 Blue Note Records

3
Return Engagement (Remastered)
00:04:51

Rudy Van Gelder, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ron McMaster, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Alfred Lion, Producer - Horace Parlan, Composer, MainArtist

(C) 2012 Blue Note Records ℗ 2000 Blue Note Records

4
Headin' South (Remastered)
00:04:28

Rudy Van Gelder, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ron McMaster, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Alfred Lion, Producer - Horace Parlan, Composer, MainArtist

(C) 2012 Blue Note Records ℗ 2000 Blue Note Records

5
The Song Is Ended (Remastered)
00:05:54

Irving Berlin, ComposerLyricist - Rudy Van Gelder, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ron McMaster, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Alfred Lion, Producer - Horace Parlan, MainArtist

(C) 2012 Blue Note Records A Blue Note Records Release; ℗ 2000 Capitol Records, LLC

6
Summertime
00:06:00

George Gershwin, Composer - Alfred Lion, Producer - Horace Parlan, MainArtist

(C) 2012 Blue Note Records A Blue Note Records Release; ℗ 2000 Capitol Records, LLC

7
Low Down (Remastered)
00:05:29

Rudy Van Gelder, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ron McMaster, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Alfred Lion, Producer - Horace Parlan, Composer, MainArtist

(C) 2012 Blue Note Records A Blue Note Records Release; ℗ 2000 Capitol Records, LLC

8
Congalegre (Remastered)
00:04:23

Ray Barretto, Composer - Rudy Van Gelder, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ron McMaster, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Alfred Lion, Producer - Horace Parlan, MainArtist

(C) 2012 Blue Note Records A Blue Note Records Release; ℗ 2000 Capitol Records, LLC

9
Prelude to a Kiss (Remastered)
00:05:28

Duke Ellington, Composer - Irving Mills, Author - Rudy Van Gelder, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ron McMaster, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Alfred Lion, Producer - Horace Parlan, MainArtist - Irving Gordon, Author

(C) 2012 Blue Note Records A Blue Note Records Release; ℗ 2000 Capitol Records, LLC

10
Jim Loves Sue (Remastered)
00:04:32

Rudy Van Gelder, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ron McMaster, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Alfred Lion, Producer - Horace Parlan, MainArtist - Ahmad Jamal, Composer

(C) 2012 Blue Note Records A Blue Note Records Release; ℗ 2000 Capitol Records, LLC

11
My Mother's Eyes (Remastered)
00:05:23

Rudy Van Gelder, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ron McMaster, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Alfred Lion, Producer - Horace Parlan, MainArtist - ABEL BAER, ComposerLyricist - Gilbert Wolfe, ComposerLyricist

(C) 2012 Blue Note Records A Blue Note Records Release; ℗ 2000 Capitol Records, LLC

DISQUE 3

1
Wadin' (Remastered)
00:06:17

Al Harewood, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Rudy Van Gelder, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ron McMaster, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Alfred Lion, Producer - George Tucker, Upright Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Horace Parlan, Composer, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Stanley Turrentine, Tenor Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Tommy Turrentine, Trumpet, AssociatedPerformer - Horace Parlan Quintet, MainArtist

(C) 2012 Blue Note Records ℗ 2000 Blue Note Records

2
Up In Cynthia's Room (Remastered)
00:06:19

Al Harewood, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Rudy Van Gelder, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ron McMaster, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Alfred Lion, Producer - George Tucker, Upright Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Horace Parlan, Composer, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Stanley Turrentine, Tenor Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Tommy Turrentine, Trumpet, AssociatedPerformer - Horace Parlan Quintet, MainArtist

(C) 2012 Blue Note Records A Blue Note Records Release; ℗ 2000 Capitol Records, LLC

3
Borderline (Remastered)
00:06:10

Al Harewood, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Rudy Van Gelder, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ron McMaster, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Alfred Lion, Producer - George Tucker, Upright Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Horace Parlan, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Stanley Turrentine, Composer, Tenor Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Tommy Turrentine, Trumpet, AssociatedPerformer - Horace Parlan Quintet, MainArtist

(C) 2012 Blue Note Records ℗ 2000 Blue Note Records

4
Rastus (Remastered)
00:06:54

Al Harewood, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Rudy Van Gelder, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ron McMaster, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Alfred Lion, Producer - George Tucker, Upright Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Horace Parlan, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Stanley Turrentine, Tenor Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Tommy Turrentine, Composer, Trumpet, AssociatedPerformer - Horace Parlan Quintet, MainArtist

(C) 2012 Blue Note Records ℗ 2000 Blue Note Records

5
Oh So Blue (Remastered)
00:07:39

Al Harewood, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Rudy Van Gelder, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ron McMaster, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Alfred Lion, Producer - George Tucker, Upright Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Horace Parlan, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Stanley Turrentine, Tenor Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Tommy Turrentine, Trumpet, AssociatedPerformer - Leon Mitchell, Composer - Horace Parlan Quintet, MainArtist

(C) 2012 Blue Note Records ℗ 2000 Blue Note Records

6
Speakin' My Piece (Remastered)
00:06:06

Al Harewood, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Rudy Van Gelder, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ron McMaster, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Alfred Lion, Producer - George Tucker, Upright Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Horace Parlan, Composer, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Stanley Turrentine, Tenor Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Tommy Turrentine, Trumpet, AssociatedPerformer - Horace Parlan Quintet, MainArtist

(C) 2012 Blue Note Records ℗ 2000 Blue Note Records

7
Rastus (Remastered)
00:06:41

Rudy Van Gelder, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ron McMaster, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Alfred Lion, Producer - Horace Parlan, MainArtist - Tommy Turrentine, Composer

(C) 2012 Blue Note Records ℗ 2000 Blue Note Records

8
Oh So Blue (Remastered)
00:07:40

Rudy Van Gelder, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ron McMaster, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Alfred Lion, Producer - Horace Parlan, MainArtist - Leon Mitchell, Composer

(C) 2012 Blue Note Records ℗ 2000 Blue Note Records

9
On The Spur Of The Moment (Remastered)
00:07:57

Rudy Van Gelder, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ron McMaster, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Alfred Lion, Producer - Horace Parlan, Composer, MainArtist

(C) 2012 Blue Note Records ℗ 2000 Blue Note Records

10
Pyramid (Remastered)
00:06:33

Rudy Van Gelder, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ron McMaster, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Alfred Lion, Producer - Horace Parlan, MainArtist - Roger Williams, Composer

(C) 2012 Blue Note Records ℗ 2000 Blue Note Records

DISQUE 4

1
On The Spur Of The Moment (Remastered)
00:05:55

Rudy Van Gelder, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ron McMaster, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Alfred Lion, Producer - Horace Parlan, Composer, MainArtist

(C) 2012 Blue Note Records ℗ 2000 Blue Note Records

2
Skoo Chee (Remastered)
00:10:58

Rudy Van Gelder, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ron McMaster, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Alfred Lion, Producer - Horace Parlan, MainArtist - Booker Ervin, Composer

(C) 2012 Blue Note Records ℗ 2000 Blue Note Records

3
And That I Am So In Love (Remastered)
00:05:05

Rudy Van Gelder, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ron McMaster, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Alfred Lion, Producer - Horace Parlan, MainArtist - Harold Ousley, Composer

(C) 2012 Blue Note Records ℗ 2000 Blue Note Records

4
Al's Tune (Remastered)
00:07:04

Rudy Van Gelder, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ron McMaster, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Alfred Lion, Producer - Horace Parlan, MainArtist - Booker Ervin, Composer

(C) 2012 Blue Note Records ℗ 2000 Blue Note Records

5
Ray C. (Remastered)
00:06:56

Rudy Van Gelder, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ron McMaster, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Alfred Lion, Producer - Horace Parlan, MainArtist - Leon Mitchell, Composer

(C) 2012 Blue Note Records ℗ 2000 Blue Note Records

6
Pyramid (Remastered)
00:06:29

Rudy Van Gelder, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ron McMaster, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Alfred Lion, Producer - Horace Parlan, MainArtist - Roger Williams, Composer

(C) 2012 Blue Note Records ℗ 2000 Blue Note Records

7
The Book's Beat (Remastered)
00:09:46

Rudy Van Gelder, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ron McMaster, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Alfred Lion, Producer - Horace Parlan, MainArtist - Booker Ervin, Composer

(C) 2012 Blue Note Records ℗ 2000 Blue Note Records

8
Up And Down (Remastered)
00:06:09

Rudy Van Gelder, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ron McMaster, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Alfred Lion, Producer - Horace Parlan, Composer, MainArtist

(C) 2012 Blue Note Records ℗ 2000 Blue Note Records

9
Fugee (Remastered)
00:07:08

Rudy Van Gelder, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ron McMaster, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Alfred Lion, Producer - George Tucker, Composer - Horace Parlan, MainArtist

(C) 2012 Blue Note Records ℗ 2000 Blue Note Records

DISQUE 5

1
The Other Part of Town (2000 Remaster)
00:11:39

Grant Green, Composer, Guitar, FeaturedArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Al Harewood, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Rudy Van Gelder, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ron McMaster, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Alfred Lion, Producer - George Tucker, Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Horace Parlan, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Booker Ervin, Tenor Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer

(C) 2012 Blue Note Records ℗ 2000 Blue Note Records

2
Lonely One (Remastered)
00:04:04

Rudy Van Gelder, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ron McMaster, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Alfred Lion, Producer - Babs Gonzales, Composer - Horace Parlan, MainArtist

(C) 2012 Blue Note Records ℗ 2000 Blue Note Records

3
Light Blue (Remastered)
00:06:01

Rudy Van Gelder, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ron McMaster, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Alfred Lion, Producer - Horace Parlan, MainArtist - Tommy Turrentine, Composer

(C) 2012 Blue Note Records ℗ 2000 Blue Note Records

4
Fugee (Alternate Take / 2000 Remaster)
00:07:00

Rudy Van Gelder, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ron McMaster, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Alfred Lion, Producer - George Tucker, Composer - Horace Parlan, MainArtist

(C) 2012 Blue Note Records ℗ 2000 Blue Note Records

5
Home Is Africa (Remastered)
00:08:46

Rudy Van Gelder, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ron McMaster, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Alfred Lion, Producer - Horace Parlan, MainArtist - Ronnie Boykins, Composer

(C) 2012 Blue Note Records ℗ 2000 Blue Note Records

6
A Tune for Richard
00:06:09

Grant Green, Guitar, FeaturedArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Billy Higgins, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Rudy Van Gelder, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ron McMaster, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Alfred Lion, Producer - Butch Warren, Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Horace Parlan, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Booker Ervin, Composer, Tenor Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Johnny Coles, Trumpet, AssociatedPerformer

(C) 2012 Blue Note Records ℗ 1976 Blue Note Records

7
Back From The Gig (Remastered)
00:05:55

Rudy Van Gelder, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ron McMaster, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Alfred Lion, Producer - Horace Parlan, Composer, MainArtist

(C) 2012 Blue Note Records ℗ 2000 Blue Note Records

8
Dexi (Remastered)
00:05:58

Rudy Van Gelder, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ron McMaster, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Alfred Lion, Producer - Horace Parlan, MainArtist - Johnny Coles, Composer

(C) 2012 Blue Note Records ℗ 2000 Blue Note Records

Descriptif de l'album

"Horace who?" That's what one is likely to encounter when excitedly talking of this set to jazz pedestrians. And it's not their fault, either. People who are reasonably familiar with the music can be excused for not hearing of the great American hard bop pianist who has made his living from Denmark since 1972. At age 70, Parlan is still a pianist of enormous talent, but is rarely heard on this side of the Atlantic. The Mosaic set compiles all seven of Parlan's sessions as a leader from 1960 through 1963 -- Movin' and Groovin', Us Three, Speakin' My Piece, Headin' South, On the Spur of the Moment, Up and Down, and Happy Frame of Mind -- and his work on the label as part of Booker Ervin's band on Back From the Gig. Before becoming a leader, he enjoyed the honor of being Charles Mingus' pianist (1957-1959), during an era that saw the release of two of Mingus' finest records: the groundbreaking Blues and Roots and Mingus Ah Um. One of the reasons for the richness of those recordings was Parlan's style. A pianist who suffered from polio since the age of five, the fourth and fifth fingers of his right hand were useless. He compensated by using the thumb and first two fingers to complete extended chords normally handled by the left hand. But, to become a soloist, he developed a style that Mingus would find irresistible: He would use short melodic runs with the right hand and build them into chunky percussive chords that had the density of Red Garland's and the gutbucket funk of Horace Silver's, all while rooted in the blues. The Movin' and Groovin' sides tell the whole story in a way. The set begins with a formalist interpretation of "C Jam Blues, a tune on which many of Parlan's rhythmic and melodic principles are showcased. Much of Parlan's inventiveness is built upon repetition, which is used as a structural device to dull the harmonic movement of a particular tune. Here, he uses thick, block-like chords in non-varying eighths against a minimal set of right-hand lines that grow more elaborate with each pass through the chorus. Elsewhere on the album, on "Up in Cynthia's Room," a badassed blues gives way to an ostinato of shimmering color and grace. It was used again with a quintet on "Speakin' My Piece," with more of the dark blues funk percussively added to Parlan's solo to make it stick out among the horns. Another of Parlan's hot moves is his rooting in the gospel traditions for which repetition was made, varying phrases just enough to move the tune along without edging it too far from its harmonic root -- give a listen to the preacher's shout in "Wadin'" for an example of this. Slide-and-jump and call-and-response methods are employed over and over again, with chords built by the minute to juxtapose his short rhythmic melodic eight hand inventions against. Al Harewood on drums and bassist George Tucker were one of the steadiest, most rock-solid rhythm sections in the music at the time, capable of backing any soloist. They are present on all but two Parlan sessions, the first of which has Sam Jones on bass and the last which features Butch Warren and Billy Higgins on bass and drums, respectively. Parlan's choice of material, from the mainly standards bag of the first couple of recordings to the mix of original compositions and bandmates' material on the other four, is an evolution of the music as much as it is of Parlan himself. After 1961, the hard bop trend was to keep it all inside the unit wherever possible. Even on Booker Ervin's date (with Grant Green on guitar) that ends the set, the tunes tend to be homemade and written for the band. With horn players, Parlan really shined as a soloist. His sessions with Stanley and Tommy Turrentine for Speakin' My Piece showcase his structural style in a manner that gives the soloists more freedom and elongates the blues line to an extent that it almost disappears. With his varying placement of meter and his shifting of harmonics always toward the blues end, ostinato becomes a natural extension of meter and rolls off the end onto another chorus, giving the appearance that the 12-bar blues has been subverted. His short, tight, intense bursts of sound are small, span-wise, but resonant for the horn player or bassist who is playing off of them. Of all the recordings here, perhaps Up and Down, his second from last as a leader, is Parlan's signature album from the period. "The Other Part of Town" is an outlandish bit of harmonic strangling on Parlan's part, with Booker Ervin's trademark tone spitting through the mix and Grant Green funking it up just enough that Parlan has to take control with huge chords played in blocks all around the his phrase-like melody, which builds and releases tension before turning around on about the tenth chorus and restating the blues theme for the other soloists. Parlan may not be the best-known of Blue Note's piano giants, but that doesn't make him any less an architect of the hard bop sound of the early '60s, as this wonderful box -- with Mosaic's usual exhaustive annotation -- so profoundly attests.
© Thom Jurek /TiVo

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Le plus célèbre des labels de jazz avait tout bon ! Artistes cinq étoiles, répertoires originaux, directeurs artistiques associés ingénieux, prise de son d’exception, sublime esthétique des pochettes, éclectisme des genres (be-bop, hard bop, soul jazz, jazz modal, free), rien ne manquait à l’appel des enregistrements de l’écurie lancée en 1939 par Francis Wolff et Alfred Lion, deux Allemands ayant fui le régime nazi. Dans cet ample catalogue, Qobuz a choisi 10 albums clés. Certains sont des classiques célébrés. D’autres, des merveilles sous-estimées. Mais tous sont des incontournables ayant façonné l’esthétique Blue Note.

Santana, le lézard de Tijuana

Une place au panthéon du rock assurée dès ses débuts avec sa performance ensorcelante à Woodstock, une dizaine de Grammy Awards sous le bras et des millions de disques écoulés grâce à sa renaissance en star de la latin pop, des featurings plus prestigieux les uns que les autres… Santana fait partie de ces artistes qui ont tout raflé : la reconnaissance du public, de la critique et de ses pairs. Portrait d’un artiste comblé qui enchaîne les mues comme un lézard.

John Barry, factotum de génie

Composer pour l’écran nécessite un goût et un savoir-faire pour tous les styles : du disco pour une scène de night-club ou un madrigal pour un film en costumes, le musicien de cinéma doit pouvoir répondre présent partout ! Et John Barry est sans doute l’un des compositeurs de BO qui a su se fondre le mieux dans tous les genres cinématographiques et musicaux.

Dans l'actualité...