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Greeting jazz enthusiasts, are you ready to check out some smokin’ jazz featuring organist Larry Young from his UNITY album recored in 1965 on Blue Note Records?

Larry Young - UNITY

Larry Young -][- UNITY – [BLUE NOTE, The Rudy Van Gelder Edition, 1965]

Move over Jimmy Smith. This one really cooks. I did not know much about Larry Young when I ordered this CD sight unseen from Amazon recently – I came across it in the Penguin. The other musicians on the CD need no introduction. It features a masterful Joe Henderson on tenor sax, Elvin Jones’s intense drumming, and an effortless Woody Shaw on trumpet. And then of course Larry Young on the Hammond B3 organ. And it is Young who does it for me on this CD. There aren’t a lot of jazz organists who have made it to the top, and unfortunately Larry Young died young – like too many jazz musicians (including Woody Shaw).

Young never had any formal organ training, and he modeled his style on John Coltrane. That is apparent in the flurry of notes and key changes the listener is presented with. But the sound never gets as intense as for example Coltrane’s Ascension. It is a more laid-back sound, but with plenty of captivating audio interest. Young complements the other players and never overpowers them.

At the time the CD was recorded, Elvin Jones had just completed a 5-year tenure with Coltrane, and Coltrane’s influence here also shines through in Jones’s flexible rhythm. Joe Henderson, who went on to become one of the premier saxophonists of the last couple of decades, contributes substantially to this recording with his original sound. Woody Shaw played with Eric Dolphy before teaming up with Young at the age of 20. The fascinating thing about his musical education for me is his interest in 20th century composers such as Bartok and Schoenberg. Apart from the accomplishments of the individual musicians, the sustained, collective spirit of the quartet is strongly evident.

The 6 tracks on the album were composed by Woody Shaw (3), Thelonious Monk, Joe Henderson, and Romberg and Hammerstein. My favorite track is track 6 “Beyond all limits” by Shaw. It is a track which is fast off the mark with the organ, and then continues with some challenging chord changes.

This is one of those CDs that you almost immediately like – and the more you listen to it, the more it grows on you. This CD is a superb re-master; the original was recorded in 1965. Apparently it is difficult to find, so grab it now while it is still available. —Christo | Reviewer/Amazon.com

..:: SOURCE: Amazon.com ::..