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Movin' & Groovin' (1960)

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Al Harewood

Horace Parlan's debut album for Blue Note, Movin' and Groovin', is a thoroughly impressive affair, establishing Parlan as a distinctive hard bop stylist. Working with bassist Sam Jones and drummer Al HarewoodParlan steals the show, playing hard-driving, bluesy bop and lyrical ballads. If it weren't for the inventive chord voicings and percussive right-hand attack, it would be impossible to tell that he was missing two fingers on his right hand, since his playing is remarkably agile and fluid. Parlan sounds vital on swinging blues, slow ballads, and straight-ahead bop, and Jones and Harewood provide appropriately empathetic support on this collection of standards, blues, bop, jazz, and originals. Everything swings, no matter the tempo, and the end result is a fine debut from a distinctive pianist.