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Larry Young Trio - Testifying / Young Blues / Groove Street / Forrest Fire (2015)

29-05-2016, 23:03

Title: Testifying / Young Blues / Groove Street / Forrest Fire
Year Of Release: 2015
Label: Fresh Sound Records
Genre: Jazz: Hammond Organ
Quality: 320 kbps
Total Time: 157:30
Total Size: 370 MB

CD 1:
01. Testifying (9:52)
02. When I Grow Too Old To Dream (5:14)
03. Exercise For Chihuahuas (7:33)
04. Falling In Love With Love (5:03)
05. Some Thorny Blues (6:18)
06. Wee Dot (7:03)
07. Flamingo (5:22)

Young Blues:
08. Young Blues (6:24)
09. A Midnight Angel (2:20)
10. Little White Lies (4:11)
11. Minor Dream (5:01)
12. Something New, Something Blue (7:22)
13. Nica's Dream (6:37)

CD 2:
Young Blues:
01. African Blues ( 4:51)

Groove Street:
02. Groove Street ( 4:52)
03. I Found A New Baby ( 5:23)
04. Sweet Lorraine ( 9:25)
05. Gettin' Into It (14:22)
06. Talkin' 'bout J.C ( 5:54)

Forrest Fire:
07. Remember ( 5:27)
08. Dexter's Deck ( 6:35)
09. Jim's Jams ( 8:55)
10. Bags' Groove ( 8:25)
11. Help! ( 4:49)

"I want to get into something really deep on the organ." Larry Young, 1960.

Like Hank Mobley and Grant Green, Larry Young never really received the widespread recognition he deserved from jazz fans. Known only to a relatively small number of jazz fans but well known and respected by musicians he struggled for recognition throughout his career. He played a string of one-night tours with Lou Donaldson, B.B. King, Arnett Cobb, and others before he recorded these albums. He went on to play with John McLaughlin ("Devotion"), Tony Williams (Lifetime), and Miles Davis ("Bitches Brew") to good acclaim. He also recorded for the Blue Note label under his own name and as a sideman on other Blue Note albums--including Grant Green. So in advance of the "new" release of Young's live recordings from France ("Complete ORTF..."), and because this great collection of his early albums has never been reviewed, I thought I'd alert jazz fans to this fine (79 + and 79 + minutes each disc) set. The remastered sound is clean and fairy crisp and clean. The 18 page booklet has complete recording information, a short essay on Young, the original complete liner notes from all the albums, and the album covers.

The first album, "Testifyin'" (1960) is Young-organ, Thornel Schwartz-guitar, and Jimmie Smith-drums. Joe Holiday plays tenor sax on two tunes--listen to the beautiful "Flamingo" for a good dose of his playing. The album is a combination of Young's tunes and standards like "When I Grow Too Old to Dream", "Falling In Love With Love", "Wee Dot", and others. Recorded by Rudy Van Gelder (like every album here), the sound is clean, open, and warm--reminiscent of his Blue Note work. This is "soul-jazz" of the period. Young had yet to formulate his own style, but he's no Jimmy Smith copyist. Young was influenced by McCoy Tyner, Monk, Red Garland, Bud Powell, Art Tatum, and Tommy Flanagan, and was only 20 years old when he recorded these albums. This first album sets the tone for some fine playing by both Young and Schwartz, along with Smith, whose drumming fits in well with the group.

The album "Young Blues" (1960), is a quartet with Young,Schwartz, Smith, and Wendell Marshall-bass. The swinging title track (with some good guitar) and two others are by Young. Also here is a Ray Draper tune, the beautiful "Minor Dream", along with Horace Silver's "Nica's Dream" (sticking very close to Silver's version), and a few others that give both Young and Schwartz a chance to blow some good swinging blues things. This is more groovy, soulful, swinging sounds similar to the first album--a good thing if you're into this type of music. Nothing innovative yet as far as Young's playing--just another set of great music.

"Groovin' Street"(1962), is another quartet with Young, Schwartz, Smith, and Bill Leslie on tenor sax. Included are the title track and two others by Young--one tune--"Gettin' Into It", is 14 + minutes of pure groove. Also here is his "Talkin' 'Bout J. C.", which is another fine tune with much to recommend it. Young's sound is just beginning to acquire some strength but he's not yet taken the leap he would later with his instrument. Schwartz is typically fine whether he's soloing or comping behind Young's organ. Leslie adds some nice depth with his deep tone on sax--listen to his solo on "Gettin' Into It". Nonetheless this is another good set of jazz that has much good playing for fans of jazz organ from this period. To cap off this collection there's five tracks from the album "Forrest Fire", under tenor sax blower Jimmy Forrest. The group is (again) Young, Schwartz, Smith, and the hard blowing Forrest. Included is "Remember" (Irving Berlin), "Dexter's Deck" (Dexter Gordon), "Jim's Jam" (J. Forrest), "Bag's Groove" (Milt Jackson), and "Help!" (bassist Doug Watkins), all which show Forrest's bluesy, sometimes gut-bucket blowing style, along with Young adding some good organ along with Schwartz' guitar. This is a good example of the type of sax/organ groups popular during this period, and Young--even at a young age--was able to show how good his chops were in this style.

If you're a fan of organ/guitar or organ/sax groups, and/or you're a fan of very early Jimmy Smith (his Blue Note stuff), this collection of Young's early albums should move nearer to the top of your "to buy" list. Give this a real listen--without distractions--and you'll hear some fine playing. ~Stuart Jefferson

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