Horace Parlan

Hi-Fly

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This Horace Parlan session is a bit different from most of his albums for Steeplechase. First, he utilizes a drummerless trio with guitarist Doug Raney and bassist Wilbur Little. Second, it was recorded initially via direct-to-disc, which meant no editing was possible and an entire album side had to be recorded in one take without stopping. The short-lived revival of this process produced albums of exquisite sound, but they had to be limited edition due to the limited wear the few disc masters could endure in the manufacturing process. Fortunately, the masters were either in great condition or the session was also taped on reels as well, because the identical six songs (played in the same order) are heard in alternate versions on this expanded CD reissue. The ease with which Parlan and Raney handle "Hi-Fly" over Little's walking bass is the mark of masters, while the bittersweet air of the bossa nova "Once I Loved" is carried by the guitarist. The alternate takes are just as viable as the masters, so it must have been difficult for producer Nils Winther to choose between them when the original LP was being prepared.

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