Larry Young – In Paris: The ORTF Recordings (2016) DSF DSD128

Larry Young – In Paris: The ORTF Recordings (2016)
DSF Stereo DSD128, 1 bit/5,6 MHz | Time – 01:39:25 minutes | 7,88 GB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | Booklet, Front Cover | ©  2xHD

Released here for the first time, 2016’s Larry Young in Paris: The ORTF Recordings is something of a lost treasure rediscovered. Recorded while the Newark, New Jersey-born pianist/organist Larry Young was living in France from 1964-1965, these recordings were broadcast once on French public radio and then archived for decades. As a listening experience, The ORTF Recordings are a revelation, showcasing the innovative Young (who died tragically in 1978 at age 38) and his group of equally youthful and talented musicians, including 19-year-old Newark trumpeter Woody Shaw. Technically speaking, half of the tracks were recorded under the leadership of tenor saxophonist Nathan Davis, a fellow Newark native, who had been performing in Paris with saxophonist Eric Dolphy. In fact, it was Davis who first brought Shaw, and later Young and drummer Billy Brooks, to Paris. With their New Jersey backgrounds and shared love of John Coltrane and modernist Hungarian composers like Bartok and Kodaly, this was a group of voraciously intellectual, highly creative musicians on the cusp of greatness. Notably, these sessions prefigure Young’s landmark 1965 Blue Note album, Unity, which also featured Shaw. While these recordings are more ad hoc in nature than Unity, one can clearly hear the angular modalism and cutting-edge harmonies that Young and Shaw borrowed from Coltrane, pianist McCoy Tyner, and others, and would then build on it throughout the rest of the ’60s into the ’70s. This is particularly evident on the two Shaw originals included here, “Beyond All Limits” and “Zoltan,” both later re-recorded for Unity. Also engaging are the handful of Young trio numbers here, including his buoyant take on “Mean to Me,” which display just how adroit and inventive a keyboardist he was. That said, even cuts like “Talkin’ About J.C.,” “La Valse Grise,” and “Discotheque,” recorded here with a group of European musicians gathered together by producer and radio host Jack Dieval, are prime examples of soulful, harmonically aggressive jazz. Ultimately, The ORTF Recordings offer a revealing snapshot of a new breed of jazz musicians, Young and Shaw, who would return to the states on the heels of their time in Paris and revolutionize the sound of modern jazz.


1. Trane of Thought 06:46
2. Talkin’ About J.C. 14:53
3. Mean to Me 04:12
4. La valse grise 16:09
5. Discotheque 10:43
6. Luny Tune 04:36
7. Beyond All Limits 07:36
8. Black Nile 13:59
9. Zoltan 20:31

Larry Young, organ
Woody Shaw, trumpet
Nathan Davis, tenor saxophone
Billy Brooks, drums
Jack Diéval, piano
Jean-Claude Fohrenbach, tenor saxophone
Jacques B. Hess, bass
Franco Manzecchi, drums
Sonny Grey, trumpet
Jacky Bamboo, percussion

Recorded: #1,7 – January 22, 1965; #2-6 – December 8, 1964 at ORTF(Office de Radiodiffusion Télévision Française) Studios, Paris; #8,9 – February 9, 1965 at the annual gathering of ‘L’Académie du jazz’ at La Locomotive, Paris


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