picture of Larry Young
 
foto by Dr. Jay Glover, 1970
Larry Young
Larry Young Jr. was born Larry John McCoy in Newark, New Jersey on 07 October 1940 to Agnes McCoy and Larry Young Sr. who was a professional organist. The rehearsals that took place at his home and the records he played drew his son into music at a very early age. Larry McCoy began making music at the family piano as a toddler and soon his father was versing him in classical music and jazz. Larry McCoy attended Arts High School in Newark, New Jersey in 1954. While at Arts High, Larry was a bass singer in a vocal group called the Challengers, a member of the Operetta Club and the leader of his own jazz combo. In high school, Larry already had the title of "genius of virtuosity" and would go to jam sessions even though he was under age. The Challengers members, Dave Blocker, Lawrence McCoy, Norman Baldwin, Jennifer St. Luscious Brown and Florien "Lucky" Jenkins, sang and played together from 1954-1960. Larry McCoy started using the name Larry Young Jr. when he and his father, Larry Young Sr. were both performing in the neighborhood clubs at he same time.
 
Early influences Art Tatum, Bud Powell and Monk, was formed during those years. After some basic tutoring from his father, Larry studied formal classical piano with Mrs. Olga von Till. In early adolescence, Larry's interest in music began to wane, but when he was fourteen, his father opened a Newark nightspot called the Shindig with an organ permanently installed on the bandstand. Larry began fooling around on the instrument and was immediately taken with its variety of sounds and musical possibilities. It opened up his imagination and became his primary instrument, though he never totally abandoned the piano.
 
By 1957, music had become a consuming passion for Larry and he began working professionally, at first with local R&B bands around Newark and Elizabeth, New Jersey and switched to the Hammond organ. He had become totally accomplished on the impossibly difficult Hammond organ, generating more sounds and music out of the instrument than anyone else around, Hammond dubbed Larry as the most talented innovator of the Hammond B-3 organ and presented Larry with an award. Jack McDuff called him the "Coltrane of the organ".
 
On 02 August 1960, Larry Young made his first album for Prestige Records, TESTIFYING, with Joe Holiday on tenor sax, Thornel Schwartz on guitar and Jimmie Smith on drums. Larry went on and recorded an album with Jimmy Forrest in 1961. In 1962, Larry Young and Dave Blocker formed a jazz ensemble with Woody Shaw a trumpet player who also went to Arts High, Bill Brooks on drums. The Trio went to Paris and Dave Blocker remained stateside. Later that year, he made his vinyl debut as leader with Groove Street. He procured the services of top guitarist Grant Green and signed to Blue Note, made classic records with artists such as Joe Henderson, Woody Shaw, Donald Byrd and Lee Morgan.
 
In 1965 he visited Europe, playing piano on Nathan Davis's Happy Girl. Larry was so taken by John Coltrane's music, he recorded with Coltrane and inducted drummer Elvin Jones to record a modal Jazz album with Joe Henderson, Woody Shaw and Elvin Jones: Unity (Blue Note) is regarded by many as the best Jazz organ recording. When all of these albums hit the streets in 1965, Larry Young was instantly seen as a force to be reckoned with.
 
By late February or early March, Larry was back in the states and reunited with Grant Green and Elvin Jones on 31 March for the recording of "Green's Street of Dreams" with vibist Bobby Hutcherson added. Woody Shaw meanwhile joined the Horace Silver Quintet in June, sharing the frontline with Joe Henderson.
 
Larry, Grant and Elvin would work in the New York area whenever possible. Larry Coryell remembers moving from Washington state and running up to Harlem to hear them on his first time in town and how powerfully moved he was by the performance of Larry's song TYRONE. Tyrone was the nick name of his son, Larry the 3rd. Larry Jr. dedicated this song to his son. TYRONE was later recorded by Grant Green and Larry Coryell.
 
In 1966, Larry was recognized by receiving the LARRY YOUNG ORGAN TALENT DESERVING WIDER RECOGNITION DOWN BEAT JAZZ CRITICS POLL 1966 award. A few days after Larry's last Blue Note date, John McLaughlin moved from London to New York to join Larry and Tony. He played on Miles Davis' IN A SILENT WAY soon after arriving, Miles offered him a gig, but he turned it down because he was so enthusiastic about Williams' new band. The band consisted of Tony, Larry and John and became the Lifetime trio. The trio recorded a double album (unheard of at the time) on Polydor, which they recorded on 26-28 May 1969.
 
On 14 May 1969, Larry played on a long jam session with Jimi Hendrix, bassist Billy Cox and drummer Mitch Mitchell on "Hells Sessions" and "Nine to the Universe". That track finally came out in 1980 as YOUNG\HENDRIX on Hendrix's "NINE TO THE UNIVERSE" on Reprise records. On McLaughlin's U.S. debut album, "DEVOTION", on Douglas Records, Larry played both organ and electric piano. On 20 and 21 August, he played electric piano on four of the six tunes which comprised Miles Davis "BITCHES BREW". Larry also played on the 28 November Miles Davis session which produced "THE LITTLE BLUE FROG", which was issued on a 45 rpm single, and an untitled unissued piece.
 
1970 Tony Williams' next album, "TURN IT OVER", with the recording of John Coltrane's "BIG NICK", was a feature for Larry on live gigs. Writing about the original trio, James Isaacs put it most succinctly, "The Tony Williams Lifetime sounded like no other band in the world. The were the first and, without a doubt, the most honest and creative ensemble in fusion music. They spawned many imitators, including McLaughlin's own Mahavishnu Orchestra. Fusion eventually became a sterile, predictable, manufactured form of what was first meant to be startling and revolutionary." And everyone went to the bank, except Larry and Tony. Larry stayed on with Tony after McLaughlin's departure in early '71.
 
Hammond recognized Larry Young a.k.a as Kahlid Yasin by awarding him the HAMMOND EXCELLENCE AWARD KAHLID YASIN 19 June 1972. Larry appeared on the album EGO and made a final European tour before leaving. When John McLaughlin and rock guitarist Carlos Santana, both at the height of their powers commercially and artistically, joined forces in 1972 to record LOVE, DEVOTION AND SURRENDER for CBS and follow the album with a tour. Larry Young was the organist for both events. Larry also recorded "Love Cry Want" on New Jazz label that year with Nicholas, Joe Gallivan and Jimmy Molneiri.
 
In 1973, Larry made his next album "LAWRENCE OF NEWARK" for the small independent label Perception. The album came and went rather quickly because the label soon folded. September 1973, Larry recorded "Live in Chicago" with Billy Cobham at the Chicago Amphitheatre.
 
In 1975, Larry recorded with the Lenny White Sextet with Lenny White, Raymond Gomez, Doug Rodrigues, Onaje Allen Gumbs and Doug Ranch on the album "Venusian Summer". Larry also signed with Arista Records, and made two albums "Larry Young's Fuel" and in 1976, "Spaceball" which did not sell. The experience of playing before huge audiences on other tours had warped his judgment. He could not understand why musicians of far less ability and vision were so successful in the commercial marketplace while his efforts in the same idiom were not. Larry's personal frustration was never abated. He could not accept the economic triumph of lesser music by lesser artists. He knew his worth, his foresight and his innovations, and that made his lack of recognition all the more disheartening.
 
He spent much of 1977 working with Houston Person and leading his own group with tenor saxophone Buddy Terry and drummer Joe Chambers. In November, he made a beautiful duet album with Joe under Chamber's name Muse, DOUBLE EXPOSURE with Larry primarily on organ and Joe on drums and piano.
 
1978 started out a much better year for Larry. He was working on his music with renewed enthusiasm and developing a new group. On Tuesday, 28 March, 1978, Larry's new girlfriend gave birth, his son received a music scholarship at USC and a rather lucrative deal with Warner Brothers was finalized and Larry was to open the night at a New York club with his new band.
 
After Larry returned from California, he suddenly passed away under mysterious circumstances which are being investigated presently by the authorities. Like Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and other artist of that period who passed away under mysterious circumstances appears that know you can add Larry Young to that category. Larry Young died a needless death at the age of 37. Larry Young was a wise, kind and loving man whose imposing stature was betrayed by his deep gentleness and respect to people who was close to him. He was very versatile, inventive and a pioneering musician who left the planet with a lot of unfinished musical business. We miss the man and the music he made very much.
 
P.S. As my father would always say, "BOINNNNG".
 
Larry Young III, November 2004
contact: Larryyoung3@larryyoungmusic.com
homepage: www.larryyoungmusic.com

 

Discography
Testifying
Prestige 68397
recorded August 1960 in Englewood Cliffs, NJ/USA
rereleased 2015 on Fresh Sound Records FSR-CD 871
Larry Young, organ
Thornel Schwartz, guitar
Jimmie Smith, drums
Joe Holiday, tenor sax
Forrest Fire
Prestige NJ 8250
recorded August 1960 in USA
rereleased 2015 on Fresh Sound Records FSR-CD 871
Jimmy Forrest, tenor sax
Larry Young, organ
Thornel Schwartz, guitar
Jimmie Smith, drums
Young Blues
Prestige NJ 8264
recorded September 1960 in Englewood Cliffs, NJ/USA
rereleased 2015 on Fresh Sound Records FSR-CD 871
Larry Young, organ
Thornel Schwartz, guitar
Wendell Marshall, bass
Jimmie Smith, drums
Groove Street
Prestige 7237
recorded February 1962 in Hackensack, NJ/USA
rereleased 2015 on Fresh Sound Records FSR-CD 871
Larry Young, organ
Bill Leslie, tenor sax
Thornel Schwartz, guitar
Jimmie Smith, drums
Gumbo!
Prestige 24229
recorded 1963 in USA
Booker Ervin, tenor sax
Al Grey, trombone
Gildo Mahones, piano
Pony Poindexter, soprano sax, alto sax
Jimmie Smith, drums
Jerry Thomas, drums
George Tucker, bass
Larry Young, organ
Talking About Grant Green
Blue Note 84183
recorded September 1964 in USA
Larry Young, organ
Grant Green, guitar
Elvon Jones, drums
Into Somethin'
Blue Note 84187
recorded October 1964 in Englewood Cliffs, NJ/USA
Larry Young, organ
Sam Rivers, tenor sax
Grant Green, guitar
Elvin Jones, drums
I Want to Hold Your Hand
Blue Note 84202
recorded March 1965 in Englewood Cliffs, NJ/USA
Grant Green, guitar
Larry Young, organ
Hank Mobley, tenor sax
Elvin Jones, drums
His Majesty King Funk
Verve V6-8627
recorded May 1965 in USA
Grant Green, guitar
Larry Young, organ
Candido Camero, conga
Ben Dixon, drums
Harold Vick, flute, tenor sax
Unity
Blue Note 84221
recorded November 1965 in USA
Larry Young, organ
Woody Shaw, trumpet
Joe Henderson, tenor sax
Elvin Jones, drums
Of Love And Peace
Blue Note 84242
recorded 1966 in USA
Larry Young, organ
Eddie Gale, trumpet
James Spaulding, alto sax, flute
Herbert Morgan, tenor sax
Wilson Moorman III, drums
Jerry Thomas, drums
Street Of Dreams
Blue Note 84253
recorded November 1964 in Englewood Cliffs, NJ/USAUSA
Grant Green, guitar
Larry Young, organ
Bobby Hutcherson, vibes
Elvin Jones, drums
Contrasts
Blue Note 84266
recorded September 1967 in USA
Larry Young, organ
Tyrone Washington, tenor sax
Herbert Morgan, tenor sax
Hank White, flugelhorn
Eddie Wright, guitar
Eddie Gladden, drums
Stacey Edwards, congas
Heaven On Earth
Blue Note 84304
recorded February 1968 in USA
Larry Young, organ
Byard Lancaster, alto sax
Herbert Morgan, tenor sax
George benson, guitar
Edward Gladden, drums
Althea Young, vocal
Mothership
Blue Note LT 1038
recorded February 1969 in USA
released 1980
Larry Young, organ
Herbert Morgan, tenor sax
Lee Morgan, trumpet
Eddie Gladden, drums
Emergency!
Polydor
recorded May 1969 in New York/USA
Tony Williams, drums, vocals
John McLaughlin, guitar
Larry Young, organ
Turn It Over
Verve 539118-2
recorded July 1970 in New York/USA
Tony Williams, drums, vocals
John McLaughlin, guitars, vocals
Larry Young, organ
Jack Bruce, bass, vocals
Ego
Polydor
recorded February/March 1971 in USA
Tony Williams, drums
Ron Carter, bass, cello
Larry Young (a.k.a. Khalid Yasin), organ
Ted Dunbar, guitar
Don Alias, percussion
Warren Smith, percussion
Jack Bruce, vocals
Love Cry Want
New Jazz NJC001
recorded June 1972 in Washington/USA
Larry Young, organ
Nicholas, synthesizers
Joe Gallivan, drums, steel guitar, percussion, sythesizer
Jimmy Molneiri, drums, percussion
Devotion
CBS DGL 65075
recorded 1972 in USA
John McLaughlin, guitar
Buddy Miles, drums, percussion
Larry Young, organ
Billy Rich, bass
Lawrence Of Newark
Perception PLP 34
recorded 1973 in New York/USA
Larry Young, organ, bongos, vocals
Abdul Shahid, drums
Jumma Santos, tom-tom
Howard T. King, drums
James Flores, drums
Stacey Edwards, congas
Don Pate, bass
James Blood Ulmer, guitar
Umar Abdul Muizz, congas
Armen Halburian, congas, bells, percussion
Diedre Johnson, cello
Juni Booth, bass
Art Gore, drums, piano
Abdul Hakim, bongas
Poppy La Boy, percussion
Cedric Lawson, piano
Mystery Guest, sax, vocals
Dennis Mourouse, sax
Charles Magee, trumpet
Love Devotion Surrender
CBS 69037
recorded 1973 in USA
Carlos Santana, guitar
John McLaughlin, guitar, piano
Larry Young, organ
Armando Peraza, congas
Billy Cobham, drums
Don Alias, drums
Jan Hammer, drums
Doug Rauch, bass
James Lewis, percussion
Larry Young's Fuel
Arista AL 4051

Larry Young, synthesizer, Hammond B-3 organ, piano, vocals
Fernando Saunders, bass
Rob Gottfried, congas, chimes
Santiago "Sandy" Torano, guitar
Linda "Tequila" Logan, vocals
Spaceball
Arista AL 4072
recorded in New York City/USA
Larry Young, synthesizer, Hammond B-3 organ, piano
Dave Eubanks, bass
Julius Brockington, piano, synthesizer
Jim Allington, drums, percussion
Larry Coryell, guitar
Danny Toan, guitar
Ray Gomez, guitar
Abdoul Hakim, percussion
Barrett Young, percussion
Clifford Brown, percussion
Farouk, percussion
Al Lockett, tenor sax, soprano sax, flute, vocals
Paula West, vocals
Double Exposure
Muse MR 5165
recorded November 1977 in New York/USA
Joe Chambers, piano, tabla, cymbals, drums
Larry Young, organ
Complete Blue Note Recordings
Mosaic CD61-57501, 6 CDs
the set contains:
- I Want To Hold Your Hand
- Street Of Dreams
- Contrasts
- Heaven On Earth
- Into Somethin'
- Mother Ship
- Of Love And Peace
- Talkin' About
- Unity
Larry Young, organ
various artists
In Paris - The ORTF Tapes
Resonance Records HCD-2022
recorded 1964 through 1965 by ORTF Paris/France
Larry Young, organ, piano
Jack Diéval, piano
Nathan Davis, tenor sax
Jean-Claude Fohrenbach, tenor sax
Woody Shaw, trumpet
Sonny Grey, trumpet
Jacques B. Hess, bass
Billy Brooks, drums
Franco Manzecchi, drums
Jack Bamboo, conga
Golden Selection (Remastered)
Master Tape Records
compilation
Larry Young, organ
no further details known

 
Sound Samples
MP3 n/a
Video n/a

 
YouTube videos
For more videos search YouTube

 

Back