Organist Larry Young's final Blue Note album, Mother Ship, was not released until 1980. Teamed up with tenor saxophonist Herbert Morgan, the great trumpeter Lee Morgan, and drummer Eddie Gladden, Young performs five of his originals, which range from the funky "Street Scene" and the samba "Love Drops" to a spacy "Trip Merchant" and the complex "Visions." This highly original set does not deserve to be so obscure.
Features the high-fidelity SHM-CD format (compatible with standard CD player) and the latest 24bit 192kHz remastering. The most free-thinking Larry Young album of the 60s – and that's saying a lot, considering the rest of his work! The session's quite an unusual one – with two drummers in the group, grounding a sextet that features Larry on organ, James Spaulding on alto and flute, Herbert Morgan on tenor sax, and the great Eddie Gale on trumpet! The tracks are all quite long, open, and flowing – richly organic, and kind of an extension of the groove first laid down by Young on Unity – pushed into more spiritual, late-Coltrane territory. The sound is amazing – incredibly majestic, and on a par with the most far-reaching jazz on Impulse Records of the late 60s – a real standout for Blue Note, and for Young, who wouldn't record this way again until the 70s! Titles include "Falaq", "Seven Steps To Heaven", "Of Love & Peace", and "Pavanne".
Tenor saxophonist Booker Ervin joined alto and soprano saxophonist Pony Poindexter in 1963 on Gumbo, based around the sights and sounds of Poindexter's birthplace, the Crescent City. Poindexter penned the majority of these compositions, providing them with evocative titles of the city: "Creole Girl," "French Market," and "Gumbo Filet." Gumbo finds Ervin playing more straight-ahead than on his exploratory "Book" sessions, which he had begun recording under his name by this time.
Quite possibly the greatest Larry Young album of the post-Blue Note years – and a massive bit of funk that totally redefines his sound! Larry's working here with his hip group Fuel – an ensemble that features Laura Logan on lead vocals, giving the tunes a real focus through her lyrics – and letting them pack a bit more punch too, since her voice sounds a lot like Betty Davis at the time! Larry's keyboards are forceful, but never too over the top – and he's notched things down a bit to focus on the overall groove of the set – still keeping things adventurous on the keys, but also working in a mode that's much more heavily jazz funk! The album's one of THE essential electric jazz sets of the 70s – and features the classic break cut "Turn Out the Lights" – plus other great tracks that include "Floating", "Fuel for the Fire", "I Ching", "H+J=B (Hustle + Jam = Bread)" and "New York Electric Street Music".
Some stellar stuff in there, and other bits that are a bit more on the forgettable side of things. Even though Young's output was starting to be a bit inconsistent, he was still very much trailblazing and this CD is nonetheless an important document; This was to be his last complete album session before his untimely passing at age 38, and it shows the maverick organ player charting a course for the funkier and electrified side of things. This CD was only made available in Japan, as a part of the "Legends Of Cosmic Jazz Funk" paper sleeve series.