Recorded on July 14, 1960.
Tommy Turrentine performs by courtesy of Time Records.
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 ingridients 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.
All Music Guide
Like Django Reinhardt, Horace Parlan did the impossible and turned a disability into an advantage. Stricken with polio as a youth that left him with a partially paralyzed right hand, Parlan became a major jazz pianist who developed a highly original rhythmic style. By the time he recorded the classic Speakin' My Piece in 1960, he had convinced Charles Mingus (who hired him in 1957) that he was one of the most soulful pianists on the scene. At 29, Parlan in 1960 was a member of Lou Donaldson's group and recording regularly as a leader for Blue Note. Speakin' My Piece was Parlan's first album with horns, teaming his trio with the Turrentine Brothers. Tenor-saxophonist Stanley Turrentine already had his very recognizable soulful style together while trumpeter Tommy Turrentine adds bebop fire to the performances. The music that the group plays, catchy originals including Parlan's most famous composition, "Wadin,'" is swinging and sophisticated but also bluesy, greasy and overflowing with soul. While Horace Silver may have been thought of as the king of funky jazz, another Horace, one named Parlan, was making quite a bit of noise of his own. Speakin' My Piece, which has superb sound, is essential.