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Album Review: 'In Paris: The ORTF Recordings'


Larry Young

"In Paris: The ORTF Recordings"

Resonance Records

If you have not heard of the great jazz organist Larry Young, it may be because he died at the age of 38 in 1978, and he has been overshadowed by other keyboard artists of his generation. But Young was a force, playing with Miles Davis on "Bitches Brew" in 1969 and joining John McLaughlin in Tony Williams Lifetime the same year. "Larry Young In Paris: The ORTF Recordings," which includes two CDs and a 68-page booklet, should go a long way in reviving interest in Young. His soloing is especially distinctive and strong on the second of the two discs; Young was clearly an original.

Although the package focuses on Young and includes interviews with McLaughlin, Dr. Lonnie Smith, John Medeski and others, many of the unreleased tracks come from groups Young played in, the Nathan Davis Quartet, and the Jazz aux Champs-Elysees All-Stars. Young plays organ on all but the final cut, on which he plays a decidedly bluesy piano. The main quartet boasts Davis on saxophone, Woody Shaw on trumpet, and drummer Billy Brooks, and the CDs are also a showcase for them. Supporting musicians include Jean-Claude Fohrenbach, sax; Sonny Grey, trumpet; Jack Dieval, piano; Jacques B. Hess, bass; Franco Manzecchi, drums; and Jacky Bamboo, conga.