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Organist Larry Young's Of Love and Peace was initially recorded in '66. The title was perhaps Young's echo for calm during the turbulent '60s. Blue Note's reissue of this gem is just as likely to resonate today, particularly during the current climate of political pugilism in America. Of Love and Peace contains only four tracks, but each tells a unique story. For example, "Pavanne" is a mid-tempo piece that highlights band's collective talent and individual acumen. A wonderful introductory piece, "Pavanne" sets the stage for what's to come.
"Of Love and Peace" is the most reserved selection, but only in its tempo. But considering the passion and emotion that envelop this piece, it swings with its cohorts. The interplay between Young and Eddie Gale is marked by call and response patterns at times, at others synchronization. Gale exercises virtually every chord, stretching the limits of his instrument, while exhibiting the fire of the late trumpeter Lee Morgan. Throughout, Young plays the role of wizard, sometimes instigating the band and pushing it further. James Spaulding contributes intermittent notes, but his participation adds serenity to an otherwise turbulent melody, in large part attributed to the thunderous bombs on drums.
Miles' "Seven Steps to Heaven" jumps out the gate at a hearty pace. Gale and Young initially indulge in a sparring session, but soon give way to a crisp walking pattern that increases with every chord progression. Gale's notes get higher and more intense. Spaulding's solo is just as fierce, adding to the blazing tempo.
Of Love and Peace is a production that tears at every conceivable emotion.
Track Listing: Pavanne/ Of Love and Peace/ Seven Steps to Heaven/ Falaq
Personnel: Larry Young- organ; Eddie Gale- trumpet; James Spaulding- alto
sax, flute; Herbert Morgan- tenor sax; Wilson Moorman III, Jerry Thomas- drums.
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.