Horace Parlan, RIP

Here’s a nice rare Blue Note: Horace Parlan, Speakin’ My Piece, Blue Note 4043. This looks to be an original West 63rd Street pressing with the deep grooves, ear and RVG stamp in the deadwax. The record looks to be in M- condition and the cover is VG++. The start price is $700 and there are four days left in the auction, with no bidders yet. We are starting our post today with this because we just saw the news that Horace Parlan passed away yesterday at the age of 86. Or course Parlan is well known in the Jazz Collector world for the albums he recorded on Blue Note in the early 1960s. I was originally going to mention six albums, but I looked at his discography and came upon the album “Happy Frame of Mind,” which I had forgotten about because it wasn’t issued until the 1980s. In any case, we mourn the passing of another one of the fine musicians of the era. I recall seeing Parlan in the 1970s and was quite impressed with his musicianship and percussive style, and the fact that he was limited to the use of just two fingers on his right hand. RIP.

That Sonny Rollins record we were watching on Esquire fetched quite a handsome price: $809.41 to be precise. I guess finding bargains among the Esquires will become harder and harder now. Admittedly, that one looked to be in great condition, but I’ve been watching eBay for nearly at least 17 years and I don’t recall the original Prestige version of Moving Out selling for that high a price. A quick check of Popsike confirms my suspicions. So we now have a situation where the original UK version seems to have a higher market value that the original US Prestige version. Has anyone noticed this phenomenon happening before?

Speaking of Prestige, I’m still watching that copy of Jackie McLean, Jackie’s Pal, Prestige 7068, which is closing in about an hour. The bidding is in the $400 range, which is quite a bit higher than when I first noticed it at $45, but still not near what we would expect for this record in M- condition for the record and VG++ for the cover. We’ll see what happens at the end of the auction.



  • Horace Parlan did a bunch or great records on the Steeplechase label throughout the 70’s and early 80’s as well. He is one of my favorites and will be missed for sure.

  • An astounding price for a 10 inch Esquire, beating the US original. This may be a one off case. Saw Soultrane on Esquire yesterday sold for 360. But the design not appealing, on the contrary. My conclusion is that the extraordinary design made the price.

  • It is very sad news though, once again, not entirely unexpected because Parlan’s health had been in decline and IIRC he was a care home resident in his final years.

    Other comments have rightly mentioned both the Steeplechase and Blue Note records; to that I would like to add Parlan’s appearances on Mingus sessions.

    I shall be digging (out) my vinyl edition of the Mosaic Parlan box set in his honour this weekend.

  • Speaking of Jackie McLean and Esquires. A few years ago I bought a near mint Esquire copy of Jackies pal for about 80 Euro. Looking back now it seams to be a great deal. Sound quality is great and the front cover on this one has the same design/photo only in brown colour.

  • I must admit i don’t listen to much Parlan, but I plan on playing some (streaming service) today. Always sad when someone with a connection to an earlier more popular time in jazz passes and takes some of the history with them.

    Rudolf I agree about the design of the Rollins record. I think I’d rather have that than a US original.

  • Kristian kristiansen

    I listened to Parlan many times during the 1970 and 1980s at clubs in Copenhagen, and was always fascinated by his playing abilities and the way he used his right hand to support block chords, while improvising with the lefT hand mainly. He developed in this way a great sense of simple but effective riff like improvisations, contrary to Kenny Drew which I also heard countless times. Both sweet personalities.

  • I’ve been listening to Horace for the last couple of days and really enjoying his Blue Note work. As a heads up the complete Blue Note sessions on Blue Note from Mosaic Records is available to stream on Amazon or Spotify.

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