Parlan, Horace (Lumont)
- Lars Helgert
(b Pittsburgh, Jan 19, 1931; d Korsor, Denmark, Feb 23, 2017). American pianist. He began piano study at the age of eight as a therapeutic device to counteract the effects of polio, which he had contracted at age five. He developed his own technique that accommodated the permanent partial paralysis of his right hand. Briefly a law student at the University of Pittsburgh, Parlan established himself on that city’s jazz scene in the early 1950s. In 1957 he moved to New York, where he recorded with Charles Mingus (appearing on albums such as Mingus Ah Um, 1959, Col.), Lou Donaldson, and Tommy Turrentine before making a series of recordings as a leader between 1960 and 1963 for the Blue Note label. The first of these albums was Movin’ & Groovin’ (1960, BN). He also recorded as a sideman with Stanley Turrentine, Dexter Gordon, Grant Green, Tubby Hayes, Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis, and Slide Hampton during the 1960s. Parlan left the United States for Denmark in the early 1970s; he cited crime, stress, and the decreasing popularity of jazz as the reasons for his relocation, and after that nearly all of his recordings were made in Europe. These include albums with Archie Shepp (...