Horace Parlan (1931-2017), a hard bop pianist who overcame a polio-stricken right hand to become one of the finest trio and solo pianists of his generation, died in Denmark on Feb. 23. He was 86. I recently posted about Parlan here and here. Among Parlan's finest group recordings are the Blue Note albums he recorded with Stanley Turrentine and Dexter Gordon. In tribute to Parlan, here's Gordon's Society Red, with Dexter Gordon (ts), Freddie Hubbard (tp), Horace Parlan (p), George Tucker (b) and Al Harewood (d). Be sure to dig how Parlan voices his chords behind Gordon and Hubbard and how he builds his gospel-jazz piano solo...
Leon Ware (1940-2017), a sensual-soul singer-songwriter who was perhaps best known for producing Marvin Gaye's I Want You (1976) album and co-writing the title song, died on Feb. 23. He was 77. To read my two-part interview with Leon in 2009, go here and here. Here's Leon singing I Want You in 2001...
In The Wall Street Journal this week, I interviewed restaurateur and celebrity chef Tom Colicchio of TV's Top Chef fame (go here). Tom grew up in Elizabeth, N.J., and talks about how he started cooking, the meaning of fresh food in his Italian neighborhood and about the blueberry pie that got away.
Also in the WSJ, I interviewed comedian and impressionist Rich Little on Frank Sinatra's You and Me, from his Trilogy album in 1980 (go here). As Little notes, no matter how close you were to the Chairman, if he did you a favor, you were even and you were never as close again. Here's the song, by Carole Bayer Sager and Peter Allen...
More Larry Coryell. A special thanks to Jimi Mentis for sending along this clip of the late Larry Coryell at Yoshi's in Oakland, Calif., in 2013...
And speaking of Larry Coryell, Chris Cowles, who hosts jazz and R&B shows on radio station WRTC-FM in Hartford, Ct., sent along this link to his fabulous three-hour Coryell tribute show (with some Blue Mitchell mixed in). Here are the tracks in case you want to buy or listen to them on Spotify:
The Great Escape — Larry Coryell
Are You Too Clever — Larry Coryell
Yin — The Eleventh House
The Jam With Albert — Larry Coryell
For Mod’s Only — Chico Hamilton
Gen. Mojo’s Well Laid Plan — Gary Burton
Elementary Guitar Solo No. 5 — Larry Coryell
After Later — Larry Coryell
Gypsy Queen — Larry Coryell
Witchitai-to — Jim Pepper
Stiff Neck — Larry Coryell
Cleo’s Mood — Larry Coryell
Things Go Wrong — John Mayall
Yeah Ya Right — Blue Mitchell
Blue On Blue — Blue Mitchell
Blue Caper — David Newman
The Windjammer — Grant Green
Got To Be This Way — John Mayall
Who Done It — Blue Mitchell
Flat Backing — Blue Mitchell
Driving Till The Break Of Day — John Mayall
Dodge City — Sonny Red
Worried Mind — John Mayall
Everybody Wants My Good Thing — Papa John Creech
Sitting Here Thinking — John Mayall
Low-Lee-Tah — Eleventh House
Terry Teachout. In reading Terry's Facebook page, I saw that he referenced this dance sequence for I Ain't Hep to That Step But I'll Dig It, featuring Fred Astaire and Paulette Goddard from Second Chorus (1940), backed by Artie Shaw's orchestra...
What the heck. Speaking of Shaw, here's the band with Dick Haymes singing Count Every Star in 1950...
Here's the version you're probably more familiar with, the 1950 B-side by the Ravens...
And here's the first recording of the song in 1950 by Ray Anthony, with an Adios riff motif and a Glenn Miller Orchestra reed voicing. Dick Noel is the vocalist...
Oddball album cover of the week.
In Germany, where this 1960s album appeared, Hammond consoles apparently doubled as phones.