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Today in Music – 1940 – Jazz Organist Larry Young was born!

Larry YoungOn this day in 1940 jazz organist Larry Young was born. I was unfamiliar with Young’s music until recently. That may have been a result of his early passing. Young died in 1978, after entering the hospital with stomach pains, he died from untreated pneumonia However, after reading some of the information below I did hear his music back in the day, when he played on Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew and also playing  in Tony Williams’ Lifetime .  From Wikipedia:

Larry Young (also known as Khalid Yasin (Abdul Aziz) (October 7, 1940 in Newark, New Jersey—March 30, 1978 in New York City) was an American jazz organist and occasional pianist. Young pioneered a modal approach to the Hammond B-3 (in contrast to Jimmy Smith’s soul-jazz style). However, he did play soul-jazz also, among other styles. Read More

After reading about Young at Wikipedia, I reviewed his biography at AllMusic where I read:

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.

and then back to Wikipedia to fill in the post 1964 years……

When Young went to Blue Note in 1964, his music began to show the marked influence of John Coltrane. In this period, he produced his most enduring work. He recorded many times as part of a trio with guitarist Grant Green and drummer Elvin Jones, occasionally augmented by additional players; most of this sequence of albums was released under Green’s name, though Into Somethin’ (with Sam Rivers on saxophone) became Young’s Blue Note debut. Unity, recorded in 1965, remains his best-known album; it features a front line of Joe Henderson and the young Woody Shaw. Subsequent albums for Blue Note (ContrastsOf Love and PeaceHeaven On EarthMother Ship) also drew on elements of the ’60s avant-garde and utilised local musicians from Young’s hometown of Newark. Young then became a part of some of the earliest fusionexperiments: first in Lifetime, Emergency! with Tony Williams and John McLaughlin and also on Miles Davis’s Bitches Brew. His sound with Lifetime was made distinct by his often very percussive approach and often heavy use of guitar and synthesizer-like effects. He is also known to rock fans for a jam he recorded with Jimi Hendrix, which was released after Hendrix’s death on the album Nine to the Universe.

A while back when I came discovered Young’s music, I listened to the album Unity and enjoyed it. Here’s a track from Unity “The Mooontrane” and once again we say “Happy Birthday, Larry Young” You are another musician that left us far too early. As my mind races to Jimi Hendrix Nine to the Universe?? Hum, that needs checking out!!