Horace Parlan, American-born Danish jazz pianist, Died at 86


Horace Parlan was born on January 19, 1931, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and died on February 23, 2017, Korsør, Denmark.

He was an American hard bop and post-bop piano player.

Parlan was best known for his contributions to the Charles Mingus recordings Mingus Ah Um and Blues & Roots.

During his early years, Horace was stricken with polio, resulting in the partial crippling of his right hand.

Because of his handicap which contributed to his development of a particularly “pungent” left-hand chord voicing style, while coping with highly rhythmic phrases with the right.

From 1952 and 1957, Horace worked in Washington DC with Sonny Stitt and then spent two years with Mingus’ Jazz Workshop.

During 1973, he relocated to Copenhagen, Denmark. He later settled in the small village of Rude in southern Zealand.

Parlan completed a State Department tour of Africa with Hal Singer, in 1974.

Horace Parlan’s later work, such as a series of duos with the tenor saxophonist Archie Shepp, included the album Goin’ Home, was steeped in gospel music.

He was awarded the 2000 Ben Webster Prize awarded by the Ben Webster Foundation.

Horace Parlan passed away at 86 years old.