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Vinyl | LP (12" album, 33 rpm)
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Unity (The Rudy Van Gelder Edition)
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Audio CD, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered, March 9, 1999
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Unity is jazz organist, Larry Young's second release on Blue Note and was the follow up to Into Somethin'. The album features Young on organ along with Woody Shaw on trumpet, Joe Henderson on tenor sax and Elvin Jones on drums. Newly-remastered for vinyl by Alan Yoshida at Dunning-Kruger in Los Angeles, Unity is part of an overall Blue Note 75th anniversary vinyl reissue campaign spearheaded by current Blue Note Records President, Don Was.
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Top customer reviews
When I first heard this album, it didn’t do anything for me. I think I had been expecting something more out of the norm, maybe an early variant on the Mahavishnu Orchestra. (Four years after this session, Young did record with John McLaughlin in the Tony Williams Lifetime.) What this album is, and I missed it then, is a high-level funk-bop album, of the type produced around then by such as Wayne Shorter, Donald Byrd, Bobby Hutcherson and others. It’s a good one too, not least because Young surrounded himself with premiere talent. Woody Shaw was a virtuoso who had just joined or was about to join the Horace Silver quintet, had been friends with Eric Dolphy and was exploring the musical innovations of John Coltrane and McCoy Tyner. As for tenor player Henderson, already fluent, he would go on to be one of the premiere tenor sax players in jazz. It’s not necessary to tout the talents of drummer Jones. In 1965, he was at the peak of his career, a formidable drummer who unleashed a torrent of polyrhythmic sound behind any group he powered. Actually, that points to my only reservation about this quite good album. Even on re-listening, I feel Jones is too much for the group. I have never found his solo work that interesting to listen to: it’s technically fluent, even amazing at times, but for this group, with these players, I feel less would have been more. Who would have fit better? Tony Williams perhaps, or someone like Dannie Richmond? I don’t know but Jones’s drumming is intrusive. There is, of course, no bass player for the session because Young’s feet play the bass line, which is adequate but not innovative. But then, I’m not sure innovation was what distinguishes Young here. What is impressive is how well, and fluently, he plays single note bop lines on the recalcitrant keys of his Hammond B-3 organ (the best of all electric organs to play jazz on).
I always skip that track.
Most recent customer reviews
organ and those he played with mainly Woody Shaw, May they both RIP true talented...Read more