272

Larry Young: Of Love and Peace

John Kelman By

Sign in to view read count
Larry Young: Of Love and Peace Eight scant months after his classic Unity (Blue Note, '65), organist Larry Young was back in the studio with a larger ensemble and a bolder concept. The title Of Love and Peace may stand in direct contrast to the music within; there may be plenty of love, but on this cacophonous album of barely-controlled chaos, there's precious little peace.

Augmenting the front line of trumpeter Eddie Gale, alto saxophonist/flautist James Spaulding and tenor saxophonist Herbert Morgan, Young opts for a two-drummer approach, with Wilson Moorman III and Jerry Thomas behind their respective kits. Of these players only Spaulding will be well-known to most fans of the period, having appeared on countless albums by artists as diverse as Sam Rivers, Stanley Turrentine and Wayne Shorter. But Gale and Morgan, in particular, are players deserving of more due. Gale is a brash player who, while never recording with him, shared the stage with Coltrane a number of times, mixing a hard bop edge with more avant leanings. Morgan, with the exception of Unity , seems to be Young's tenor man of choice, appearing on all of Young's subsequent Blue Note outings and demonstrating a big tone that was perfectly in keeping with Young's more extroverted and increasingly unpredictable work.

With its duple ï rhythm, "Pavanne" is aptly titled, but it's a dance like none you are likely to hear, with Moorman and Thomas creating a scarcely-contained maelstrom behind the front line, which improvises with reckless abandon over Young's anchoring keyboard work. With Young living up to his reputation as the John Coltrane of his instrument, he provides an open-ended modal backdrop for solos which stretch the boundaries of the harmonic centre. The title track is only marginally more relaxed, with Young creating a simmering layer under which the two drummers create a certain forward motion in an ostensibly free improvisation. Likewise, the closing "Falaq" balances momentum and liberty equally, with Moorman and Thomas creating, interestingly enough, the kind of polyrhythmic independence that Elvin Jones was capable of doing all by himself. Still, Morgan contributes a solo that is reflective of the time and, in no small way, influenced by the outer leanings of Sam Rivers, while Gale is telepathically linked to Young, building screams and wails that are in sharp contrast to Young's richly ascendant chords.

The odd man out on the disc might on first glance seem to be the reading of "Seven Steps to Heaven," but the way the front line plays with the familiar theme, snaking in and out of it with exuberance and a greater sense of adventure, only sets things up for Young's solo, which runs at breakneck speed before Gale enters and matches Young's elusive behaviour note-for-note.

Of Love and Peace may be marginally less of a classic than Unity , if only for its more radical yielding to an almost stream-of-consciousness approach; but it demonstrates how far Young's conception had developed in a few short months and, consequently, is an important document of a rapidly evolving artist.


Track Listing: Pavanne; Of Love and Peace; Seven Steps to Heaven; Falaq

Personnel: Eddie Gale (trumpet), James Spaulding (alto sax, flute), Herbert Morgan (tenor sax), Larry Young (organ), Wilson Moorman III (drums), Jerry Thomas (drums)

Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Blue Note Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Coldest Second Yesterday CD/LP/Track Review Coldest Second Yesterday
by John Sharpe
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "The Last Remaining Payphone in L.A." CD/LP/Track Review The Last Remaining Payphone in L.A.
by Paul Naser
Published: October 18, 2016
Read "Copenhagen Diaries" CD/LP/Track Review Copenhagen Diaries
by Eyal Hareuveni
Published: May 8, 2016
Read "Potsdamer Platz" CD/LP/Track Review Potsdamer Platz
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: February 3, 2017
Read "Solo Plus" CD/LP/Track Review Solo Plus
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: March 4, 2016
Read "Duopoly" CD/LP/Track Review Duopoly
by Mark Corroto
Published: September 26, 2016
Read "Butterflies Fly in Pairs" CD/LP/Track Review Butterflies Fly in Pairs
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 22, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!