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Larry Young: In Paris: The ORTF Recordings

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These 1960s European sessions capture organist Larry Young in a fruitful mid-period of his tragically short career: beyond the overt Jimmy Smith influences of his early material for Prestige, but not yet in the cosmic avant-jazz-rock orbit he would later deploy with the Tony Williams Lifetime, jamming with Jimi Hendrix or on criminally underrated discs like his prog-fusion gem Lawrence of Newark.

It was the era of Coltrane, and Young was appropriately enamored of Trane’s modal refinements, his straddle of hard-bop and postbop so that it flirts with the avant-garde, and, most specifically, the way Trane’s pianist, McCoy Tyner, utilized the pentatonic scale as a touchstone for extended improvisation. The best songs on In Paris showcase these Trane-friendly advances that Young would later utilize on various Blue Note recordings in the 1960s.

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