Thursday, 7 January 2010

The Larry Young Trio ''Testifying''

The Larry Young Trio

( LP Prestige/New Jazz Records, 1960 )
Catalog # NJLP 8249

Wee Dot
Exercise For Chihuahuas
When I Grow Too Old To Dream
Some Thorny Blues
Falling In Love With Love

Personnel & Notes:
Joe Holiday (ts)
Larry Young (org)
Thornel Schwartz (g)
Jimmie Smith (d)
Recorded at Rudy Van Gelder Studio,
Englewood Cliffs, NJ, August 2, 1960
** Also issued on Fantasy OJCCD 1793-2

Organist Larry Young was 19 when he made this, his debut recording. Although he would become innovative later on, Young at this early stage was still influenced by Jimmy Smith, even if he had a lighter tone; the fact that he used Smith's former guitarist, Thornel Schwartz, and a drummer whose name was coincidentally Jimmie Smith kept the connection strong. R&B-ish tenor Joe Holiday helps out on two songs, and the music (standards, blues and ballads) always swings. Easily recommended to fans of the jazz organ.
By Scott Yanow (AMG)

If Jimmy Smith was "the Charlie Parker of the organ," Larry Young was its John Coltrane. One of the great innovators of the mid- to late '60s, Young fashioned a distinctive modal approach to the Hammond B-3 at a time when Smith's earthy, blues-drenched soul-jazz style was the instrument's dominant voice. Initially, Young was very much a Smith admirer himself. After playing with various R&B bands in the 1950s and being featured as a sideman with tenor saxman Jimmy Forrest in 1960, Young debuted as a leader that year with Testifying, which, like his subsequent soul-jazz efforts for Prestige, Young Blues (1960), and Groove Street, (1962), left no doubt that Smith was his primary inspiration. But when Young went to Blue Note in 1964, he was well on his way to becoming a major innovator. Coltrane's post-bop influence asserted itself more and more in Young's playing and composing, and his work grew much more cerebral and exploratory. Unity, recorded in 1965, remains his best-known album. Quick to embrace fusion, Young played with Miles Davis in 1969, John McLaughlin in 1970, and Tony Williams' groundbreaking Lifetime in the early '70s. Unfortunately, his work turned uneven and erratic as the '70s progressed. Young was only 38 when, in 1978, he checked into the hospital suffering from stomach pains, and died from untreated pneumonia. The Hammond hero's work for Blue Note (as both a leader and a sideman) was united for Mosaic's limited-edition six-CD box set The Complete Blue Note Recordings.
By Alex Henderson (AMG)

By Pier


Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this really great jazz organ record! I have it since before and recommend it. I believe Young was best in his earlier days from 1960 on, with his pinnacle around 65 with 'Unity', give or take a few years.

My favourite track here is without hesitation 'Wee Dot'. A 7 min jazz blues where Young is letting his hair down after a while and cook like no one else. Yes, he was very Jimmy Smith influenced at the time of this recording. In a few comp choruses it's actually almost impossible to distinguish Young from Jimmy Smith, and he also borrows a few trademark left hand bass lines from Jimmy Smith.

What is very interesting about Larry Young is that he has got 'it'. That undefined quality that tell the master apart from the very good. Young shows very clearly that he had Master qualities in his playing, and the coming years proved that is was so. He then left the soul jazz/groove jazz and went inside the modal playing territory, and from there to fusion. Unfortunately he also went down fast with, well, drugs & stuff. And then it was all over...

Speaking about Larry Young. I try a request again :-) Do you happen to have his record "Young Blues"?

All the best,
Jazz Organ Fan

JAZZYPIER ♪ said...

As ever, thank you for the comment JOF!

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