Thursday, February 16, 2017

Horace Parlan - 1986 - Happy Frame Of Mind

Horace Parlan
Happy Frame Of Mind

01. Home Is Africa
02. A Tune For Richard
03. Back From The Gig
04. Dexi
05. Kucheza Blues
06. Happy Frame Of Mind

Bass – Butch Warren
Drums – Billy Higgins
Guitar – Grant Green
Piano – Horace Parlan
Tenor Saxophone – Booker Ervin
Trumpet – Johnny Coles

Recorded on February 15, 1963.

This material was previously released in 1976 as part of 'Back To The Gig' (BN-LA488-H2), a double album under Booker Irvin's name. It is now issued here, for the first time, with the Cover Art and Catalogue Number, as originally intended by Blue Note in 1963.

Happy Frame of Mind finds Horace Parlan breaking away from the soul-inflected hard bop that had become his trademark, moving his music into more adventurous, post-bop territory. Aided by a first-rate quintet -- trumpeter Johnny Coles, tenor saxophonist Booker Ervin, guitarist Grant Green, bassist Butch Warren, drummer Billy Higgins -- Parlan produces a provocative set that is grounded in soul and blues but stretches out into challenging improvisations. None of the musicians completely embrace the avant-garde, but there are shifting tonal textures and unpredictable turns in the solos which have been previously unheard in Parlan's music. Perhaps that's the reason why Happy Frame of Mind sat unissued in Blue Note's vaults until 1976, when it was released as part of a double-record Booker Ervin set, but the fact of the matter is, it's one of Parlan's most successful efforts, finding the perfect middle ground between accessible, entertaining jazz and more adventurous music.

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