Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Larry Young's Magnum Opus

One of the recordings I picked up at the Jazz Record Mart in Chicago was Larry Young's Unity.  It's a Penguin Guide core collection item, and I just hadn't got around to it yet.  Wow.  This is twenty-four karat blues-based bop.  There aren't a lot of organists at the top of the list.  Jimmy McGriff comes to mind, and Joe Zawinul.  Young's playing reverses the old cliche: he doesn't make it look easy, he makes it look hard as Hell. He is obviously a virtuoso, but the instrument seems to be always tripping over itself.  It is as if he makes it do something it doesn't want to do.  That might be its wonderful charm. 

The band includes Joe Henderson on tenor, Woody Shaw on trumpet, and Elvin Jones on drums.  Jones is a busy man.  The organ fills the space that God made for the bass.  All of this is good, and it is soul-lifting music.  If you want to be moody, try Steve Lacy and Mal Waldron (either one or both).  If you want a future you can believe in, try this blast from the past.  

Here is a sample:
Larry Young/Monk's Dreams/Unity
 Check it out quick.  The coppers are on my tail. 

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