Larry Young – Unity (1965/2012)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/192 kHz | Time – 40:01 minutes | 1,87 GB | Genre: Jazz
Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks.com | Digital booklet | © Blue Note Records
Larry Young’s Unity was a revolutionary masterpiece. The album has been deemed by critics and fans as one of jazz’s best organ recordings of all time. This first-rate performance features legendary sidemen Woody Shaw, Joe Henderson and Elvin Jones. Young’s electrifying delivery not only challenged but redefined any preconceived notions. The ensemble’s chemistry is undeniable. Includes the high energy “Zoltan,” the widely popular “Softly, As in a Morning Sunrise” and a riveting rendition of “Monk’s Dream.” An undeniable classic for any music lover.
On Unity, jazz organist Larry Young began to display some of the angular drive that made him a natural for the jazz-rock explosion to come barely four years later. While about as far from the groove jazz of Jimmy Smith as you could get, Young hadn’t made the complete leap into freeform jazz-rock either. Here he finds himself in very distinguished company: drummer Elvin Jones, trumpeter Woody Shaw, and saxman Joe Henderson. Young was clearly taken by the explorations of saxophonists Coleman and Coltrane, as well as the tonal expressionism put in place by Sonny Rollins and the hard-edged modal music of Miles Davis and his young quintet. But the sound here is all Young: the rhythmic thrusting pulses shoved up against Henderson and Shaw as the framework for a melody that never actually emerges (“Zoltan” — one of three Shaw tunes here), the skipping chords he uses to supplant the harmony in “Monk’s Dream,” and also the reiterating of front-line phrases a half step behind the beat to create an echo effect and leave a tonal trace on the soloists as they emerge into the tunes (Henderson’s “If” and Shaw’s “The Moontrane”). All of these are Young trademarks, displayed when he was still very young, yet enough of a wiseacre to try to drive a group of musicians as seasoned as this — and he succeeded each and every time. As a soloist, Young is at his best on Shaw’s “Beyond All Limits” and the classic nugget “Softly as in a Morning Sunrise.” In his breaks, Young uses the middle register as a place of departure, staggering arpeggios against chords against harmonic inversions that swing plenty and still comes out at all angles. Unity proved that Young’s debut, Into Somethin’, was no fluke, and that he could play with the lions. And as an album, it holds up even better than some of the work by his sidemen here.
01 – Zoltan
02 – Monk’s Dream
03 – If
04 – The Moontrane
05 – Softly, As in a Morning Sunrise
06 – Beyond All Limits
Larry Young – Hammond B-3 organ
Woody Shaw – trumpet
Joe Henderson – tenor sax
Elvin Jones – drums
About the Mastering:
High Resolution Mastering by Alan Yoshida and Robin Lynn at Blanche DuBois, April 2012.
“In preparing these hi def remasters, we were very conscientious about maintaining the feel of the original releases while adding a previously unattainable transparency and depth. It now sounds like you’ve set up your chaise lounge right in the middle of Rudy Van Gelder’s studio!”
— Blue Note President, Don Was.