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Speakin' My Piece (1960)

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Tommy Turrentine

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. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine