All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

7

Larry Young: In Paris: The ORTF Recordings

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
You may know organist Larry Young from his work in The Tony Williams Lifetime band (with John McLaughlin) and later with Jimi Hendrix, and Carlos Santana or you may just be hip to his Blue Note 1960's years. Nonetheless, you would certainly be surprised to learn that he lived to be just 38 years old, passing away in 1978. As the philosopher Lao Tzu said, "The flame that burns twice as bright, burns half as long"

Born Larry John McCoy in Newark, New Jersey in 1940, he later changed his name to Larry Young Jr., (his father's last name) because his grandfather was also an organist. Young began playing in organ trios performing soul jazz and R&B throughout New Jersey. His evolution, though, accelerated quite quickly, paralleling the 1960's music of John Coltrane and blasting off into new territories via Miles Davis' Bitches Brew (Columbia, 1970) session and the aforementioned jazz-rock fusion.

Resonance Records, which specializes in finding historic often unheard recordings, worked with ORTF (the Office of French Radio and Television) archives to unearth these tapes not heard since their original broadcast fifty years ago. The two-CD (or limited edition LPs) present pristine sound from the ORTF Studios in Paris and at a jazz awards ceremony at La Locomotive, where Young performed as a sideman with saxophonist Nathan Davis, the Jazz aux Champs-Élysées All-Stars, and his own piano trio.

The significance of this music is informed by the ripening of Young's approach, as these sessions recorded in 1964 and1965 were the precursors to his masterpiece Blue Note session Unity (1965) with Joe Henderson, Elvin Jones and the teenage trumpeter Woody Shaw, who appears here. The Nathan Davis Quartet performs a twenty-minute live version of Shaw's "Zoltan," a piece made famous from that Unity session. The piece allows the soloists to stretch-out. Davis' tenor ignites Shaw's solo before Young squares off with Billy Brooks' drums. Where organists before Young delivered a bulky soul sound, Young's affection for Coltrane's quartet led him to tailor his organ to McCoy Tyner's acoustic approach. These sides also include compositions Young recorded for Blue Note including "Talkin' About J.C.," "Luny Tune," and "Beyond All Limits."

The expanded Jazz aux Champs-Élysées All-Stars band which adds trumpeter Sonny Grey, saxophonist Jean-Claude Fohrenbach, pianist Jack Diéval, Italian drummer Franco Manzecchi, and conga player Jacky Bamboo account for three pieces here. Their swinging/hipster blues piece "Discothèque" is a pause in the evolution of Young's flights, but it is evidence that he could accent even as an accompanist. Elsewhere, the All-Stars eat up "Talkin' About J.C." and "La Valse Grise" pushing soul jazz into the 1960's Coltrane revolution.

The second disc ends with "Larry's Blues," a rare piece performed on piano. Young's sound could easily be mistaken here for that of a cross between Thelonious Monk and McCoy Tyner. Isn't that a perfect summation of modern music?

The sound quality, especially the studio dates, is excellent making this a rare and, oh so precious find.

Track Listing: (CD1) Trane Of Thought; Talkin' About J.C.; Mean To Me; La Valse Grise; Discothèque. (CD2) Luny Tune; Beyond All Limits; Black Nile; Zoltan; Larry's Blues.

Personnel: Larry Young : organ, piano; Woody Shaw: trumpet; Nathan Davis: tenor saxophone; Billy Brooks: drums; Jack Diéval: piano; Jean-Claude Fohrenbach: tenor saxophone; Jacques B. Hess; bass; Franco Manzecchi: drums; Sonny Grey: trumpet; Jacky Bamboo: percussion.

Title: In Paris: The ORTF Recordings | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Resonance Records

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Extended Analysis
CD/LP/Track Review
My Blue Note Obsession
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
In Paris: The ORTF Recordings

In Paris: The ORTF...

Resonance Records
2016

buy
Into Something

Into Something

Blue Note Records
2012

buy
Unity

Unity

Blue Note Records
2011

buy
Of Love and Peace

Of Love and Peace

Blue Note Records
2004

buy
Mother Ship

Mother Ship

Blue Note Records
2004

buy

Related Articles

Read Out in the Open CD/LP/Track Review
Out in the Open
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 16, 2018
Read Contemporary Chaos Practices CD/LP/Track Review
Contemporary Chaos Practices
by Don Phipps
Published: November 16, 2018
Read Changed Beings CD/LP/Track Review
Changed Beings
by Chris May
Published: November 16, 2018
Read We Must Mustn't We CD/LP/Track Review
We Must Mustn't We
by John Sharpe
Published: November 16, 2018
Read Two Infinitudes; The One You "see" and the One That Is You. CD/LP/Track Review
Two Infinitudes; The One You "see" and the One...
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 16, 2018
Read Always Forward CD/LP/Track Review
Always Forward
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 15, 2018
Read "Suzaku" CD/LP/Track Review Suzaku
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 15, 2018
Read "Ghost Box" CD/LP/Track Review Ghost Box
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 31, 2018
Read "Halbtraume" CD/LP/Track Review Halbtraume
by Glenn Astarita
Published: August 29, 2018
Read "D'Agala" CD/LP/Track Review D'Agala
by John Sharpe
Published: January 28, 2018
Read "Bad Hombre" CD/LP/Track Review Bad Hombre
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 12, 2017
Read "Liver" CD/LP/Track Review Liver
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 15, 2018