Horace Parlan: Speakin’ My Piece (1960) Blue Note

Pictures updated May 3, 2020

Track Selection 1 Speakin’ My Piece

. .  .

Welcome aboard this flight to 1960. It is my pleasure to fly you today in this bluesy bopper. Our in-flight very dry Martini service will begin shortly. If you look down, on the left hand side, you will see we are just passing over 1980. Now sit back and relax, and enjoy your flight. I know you have had a choice of blogs and thank you for choosing the LondonJazzCollector. Now together, wave your arms up and down… faster, faster, we are losing height…

Selection 2:  Wadin’

.  .  .

Horace Parlan’s signature composition Wadin’ is flowing with nice and greasy soul.


Tommy Turrentine, trumpet; Stanley Turrentine, tenor sax; Horace Parlan, piano; George Tucker, bass; Al Harewood, drums;  recorded Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, July 14, 1960, released November 1960.


In 1960, at the age of 29, Parlan was seen as the new Horace Silver, a dual stylist, a member of Mingus’s crew, and as a soulful bluesy member of Lou Donaldson team. He could pitch it either way, and on this record it’s the soul team in the saddle. 1960 was still early enough, soul jazz had not yet mutated into the funky chicken

Being a little short on writing time, I’ll put my feet up on the opposite train-seat of life, and let someone else do a little wordsmithing.

AllMusic Review:

“Horace Parlan had a gift for relaxed, swinging hard bop which placed his piano in a central, yet unassuming role. Speakin’ My Piece is one of the first albums to find Parlan getting all the ingredients right, from his own subtle playing to soliciting fine contributions of his backing band. Stanley Turrentine, in fact, turns out to be an excellent complement to Parlan, playing in a similarly tasteful style. Five of the six numbers are band originals, and each number is quite similar — bluesy, gently swinging hard bop. No one pushes too hard on Speakin’ My Piece, preferring to create an intimate atmosphere with milder numbers and performances. Such an approach gives each muscian — Parlan, Turrentine, bassist George Tucker, drummer Al Harewood — a chance to shine with lyrical, melodic solos and/or sympathetic support, resulting in a charmingly low-key session”.        

Another blogger chipped in with this take:

Piece is a mellow blues-tinged bop quartet session featuring the soulful, agile, massive-toned tenor sound of fellow Pittsburgh expatriate Turrentine. There’s nothing too rambunctious here, just some dandy earthy jazz to relax and unwind to.

Vinyl: BLP 4043 mono

Plastylite ear, RVG stamp, original laminated cover, but not strictly the first edition (47W63rd & DG), but an additional pressing some time in the second half of the following year – inner sleeve Jan-Nov-1961 (Flight To Jordan c1 r2). New York labels, which first appeared on Aug-61 releases, no DG, which likewise first appeared in Aug-61. Put your trust in the inner sleeve.




Collectors Corner

Source: Second-hand vinyl store, Soho, who have had to resort to putting photocopy sleeves on the wall due to the problem of cover-thieves.

The record had a couple of months on the wall due to what I thought an optimistic price, and 35% taken off tipped the balance. These guys depend on turnover, unlike others who are content to leave it unsold for many years until a chance buyer turns up. That won’t pay Central London rents, so if it doesn’t move, they reprice it after three months.

We discussed why it hadn’t sold, and a I ventured the opinion that Turrentine wasn’t going to excite the younger DJ-tendancy, not enough “badness” , and he agreed that it might be that  “Stanley Turpentine”. However this is only 1960, early days. Never being short of an opinion, I also ventured the name “Horace” didn’t sound very cool to urban types with diminutive names like Nick, Rick, Nat and Matt.

8 thoughts on “Horace Parlan: Speakin’ My Piece (1960) Blue Note

  1. London Jazz Collector you need to put up the rest of Parlan’s Blue Notes. Where is Up & Down and ON The Spur of the Moment. I look forward to reading them one day LJC.

  2. Hmm, I’m just revisiting this because I know the MM33 version is now available and I am very tempted… I think this visit (sadly I boarded just a little too late for the in-flight very dry martini service) may have tipped the balance…

  3. For all those who like Stanley Turrentine’s sound, here’s something from a man who was seen as his German counterpart at the time: “Dig Doldinger”/”Jazz – Made In Germany” by Klaus Doldinger. This is one fantastic album, more sophisticated, perhaps even more vigorous, than most of the things done by ST. (Not being German, I can easily recommend it in an un-biased way…)
    My favourite tracks are “Blues For George” and “Solar”.

  4. Gents! This album is a personal favorite Blue Note. At this point I only own it on Evil Silver Disc as a Plastylite mono always seems to always get way, way ahead of me in price. It looks like this was never re-issued on Liberty and never re-issued on King. Alas. So I guess the question is do the Toshiba or the Classic Records?

    If I am wrong and they did release on Liberty great, but it doesn’t look like a King was done after according the diligence of Microgroove’s site.


  5. Just checked Fred Cohen’s Blue Note bible real quick and the BLP 4043 should have 47 West 63rd address with “inc” and deep groove on both sides. Apart from that your copy still has it all: RVG stamped in the trail off, the “P” or “ear”, 47 West 63rd Str. New York 23 on the back cover and the front is laminated.

    Still I wish I had walked into your copy myself, ’cause I once bought Horace Parlan’s other Blue Note beauty “In The Spur of The Moment” for 150 Euros (way, way, way too much, but I was greedy) only to find out later that it missed the “ear” in the deadwax and that I had spent top dollar on a Liberty pressing…

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