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Unity Import

4.6 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Blue Note
  • ASIN: B00004UTDR
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,778,108 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Format: Audio CD
'Unity' is generally considered to be Larry Young's best recording as a leader in a purely jazz context. The personnel are first-rate and the compositions - three originals by Woody Shaw, one by Henderson, a Monk tune and a standard - are an interesting mix.

The recording kicks off with Shaw's 'Zoltan', which apart from its march-like intro is typical of the three Shaw originals which I find to be the strongest material here. Then Young takes an immediate step sideways (and backwards, into boppish territory) with a duo take on 'Monk's Mood' with Elvin Jones. It's a competent but unremarkable performance, and for me it temporarily breaks the mood. Ironically, the duo format allows one to hear Young's playing clearly as nowhere else. The Henderson original 'If' and the Shaw tune 'The Moontrane' get the session back on track, but the mood is then broken briefly by the corny melody of the only standard - 'Softly, As In A Morning Sunrise' - fortunately abandoned almost immediately for spirited improvisation. Shaw's closer, 'Beyond All Limits' is well up to the standard of his earlier contributions and ends the record on a high.

Aficionados of Young's playing represent him as the premier post-Jimmy Smith jazz organist, but to be frank that makes him number one in a field of one. What this recording does is to point up the sheer difficulty of integrating the Hammond sound into a modern acoustic jazz ensemble. Your take on this album may well depend on your liking for Young's comping sound, which is forward in the mix and shows the characteristic warm, soft Hammond attack that makes it so different from the piano in the performance of the accompanist's role.
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Format: Audio CD
This is surely one of the very greatest Blue Note albums and also one of the most over looked. Recorded at the end of 1965 it features Larry Young on Hammond organ, Woody Shaw on trumpet, Joe Henderson on tenor and Elvin Jones on drums.

On this album Larry Young really moved the organ forward as a Jazz instrument. As much as anyone recording in this period he understood and assimilated the ideas which John Coltrane was pursuing. Young and Coltrane also play their instruments in the same way: with power, emotion and freedom.

Henderson, who writes one tune, and Shaw, who writes three, are both excellent, the tenor man in particular, and add to the power of the album. Elvin Jones plays just as well as he'd been doing for the previous 5 years in Coltrane's band.

I don't think that the great recording engineer Rudy Van Gelder ever captured any instrument's sound as well as the swirling attack of the organ: sometimes pointed and precise, at other times there's a warmth which seems to envelope you.

This reissue is part of the Van Gelder Editions which means that the great man has done the excellent remastering and there are new liner notes.

If you enjoy this, as you can't fail to do, I'd also recommended Young's appearances, in a more conventional format, on two Blue Notes by guitarist Grant Green: `Talkin' About' and `Street of Dreams`.
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By KaleHawkwood TOP 100 REVIEWER on 1 Aug. 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Unity is a perfect name for this pretty much perfect jazz album. As someone who`s new to Larry Young - not having exactly made a beeline for records featuring organ before - I am delighted and excited by this quartet of Young on organ, the always resourceful Joe Henderson on tenor sax, the terrific Woody Shaw on trumpet and Mr Ubiquity himself, the irrepressible Elvin Jones on drums.
The opener Zoltan, composed by Shaw, starts with a bar or two of martial drumming (Jones sounding more like Blackwell or Roach, with their `woody` attack) then the leader`s organ is there in a clear spray of notes and the number is underway. Henderson shines on his solo. A great track.
Next is Monk`s Dream, with organ to the fore form the off. Young isn`t a `funky` organist, and has the smoothest, clearest tone of any I`ve heard, with a lyrical, impressionistic approach which reminds me not a little of one of my favourite musicians, vibist Bobby Hutcherson.
One excellent aspect of this set is that there`s so much room for each musician to breathe. And no bass player! Young and an explosive Jones bop around this Monk tune as a duet, no brass on this one.
Shaw & Henderson, as if impatient to be back in the fray, blast off the tenor`s own number If, a swinging affair which boasts some of Joe`s most Trane-like playing, before Shaw comes in, his trumpet a balm to the ears as he extemporises a fine, treble-heavy solo behind an insistent Young and percussive Jones.
That`s half the album. The rest is just as good. Shaw has two more of his own, The Moontrane, a wonderful track with urgent solos all round, and the closer Beyond All Limits, an apt name for this modest marvel of an record.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I got this because it was recommended to me I like it it is interesting there is no bass playing on this album which I normally prefer BUT Larry himself does an excellent job of filling in the low end for me and it also gives a unique bass tone for the album and also creates alot of open space too. The drumming on the album is also another highlight :D Spectacular
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