Horace Parlan

Horace Parlan By Horace Parlan [DVD]

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Horace Parlan is featured in an extensive documentary (filmed on June 19, 1999) in his home in the Danish countryside. The pianist, joined by bassist Jimmi Pedersen, presents a program dominated by thoughtful, richly textured originals, along with a solo take of the spiritual "Deep River," although his comments are unfortunately sometimes dubbed on top of the music. But the decision to shoot Parlan in his home results in great music without the distractions (an often erratic sound) provided in a club setting. He discusses his battle with polio (which affected the right side of his body and limits the use of his right arm and hand), including his introduction to playing piano as therapy toward recovery. Parlan also reminisces about his relationship with the Blue Note label, getting to know the talented though tormented Bud Powell, and working with Charles Mingus (in a friendly discussion with Celia Mingus Zaentz, one of Mingus' ex-wives), including a hilarious trick played by the bassist on a particularly inattentive nightclub audience. This extraordinary tribute, produced and directed by Don McGlynn, is warmly recommended.