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Fusing his roots in R&B and soul jazz with the modal music of John Coltrane, organist Larry Young hit on his own sound. Young eventually played with Jimi Hendrix, Miles Davis, and Tony Williams’ Lifetime, but before that, in 1965, he released the excellent Unity. The lineup on the album is interesting: Young, trumpeter Woody Shaw, tenor saxophonist Joe Henderson, and drummer Elvin Jones. (There is no bass player; Young provides bass lines with his instrument’s foot pedals.) Unity opens with “Zoltan,” one of three pieces penned by Shaw, who is a fine writer. The striking head played by the horns is supported by swarming organ and drums that move from a martial beat to a torrent of rhythm. A cover of “Monk’s Dream” transforms the original. The timbral qualities of Young’s Hammond B3 organ warm up Thelonious Monk’s signature angularity in appealing ways. The 1920s show tune, “Softly, As in a Morning Sunrise,” becomes a burner with punchy horn riffs and solos by Henderson, Shaw, and Young. Unity closes with another Shaw composition, “Beyond All Limits,” wrapping things up on a high-energy note.

Customer Reviews

Simply Ear Catching

Great Jazz Record ..


Born: October 7, 1940 in Newark, NJ

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '60s, '70s

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...
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Unity, Larry Young
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  • $8.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music, Avant-Garde Jazz, Fusion, Hard Bop, Rock
  • Released: Nov 10, 1965

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