Larry Young Biography

7 October 1940, Newark, New Jersey, USA, d. 30 March 1978, New York City, New York, USA. His father was an organ player but at first Young played piano instead. In 1957 he joined an R&B group in Elizabeth, New Jersey and, switching to Hammond organ, recorded with tenor saxophonist Jimmy Forrest in 1961. The previous year he had made his record debut as leader with Testifying. He procured the services of top guitarist Grant Green and, signed to Blue Note Records, made classic records with artists such as Joe Henderson, Woody Shaw, Donald Byrd and Lee Morgan. In 1964 he visited Europe, playing piano on Nathan Davis’ Happy Girl. Affected by John Coltrane’s expansion of hard bop, he recorded with Coltrane and inducted drummer Elvin Jones into his band, recording Unity with him in 1965. Young played electric piano on Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew in 1970, the album which launched the jazz rock genre, worked briefly with John McLaughlin in 1970 and then played in the excellent Lifetime, the band formed by Davis’ ex-drummer Tony Williams. He also collaborated with guitarist Nicholas and drummer Joe Gallivan in Love Cry Want. His own Lawrence Of Newark featured James ‘Blood’ Ulmer, making one of his earlier appearances on record. In 1977 Young co-led a group with drummer Joe Chambers, recording Double Exposure. Young also worked under his Islamic name of Khalid Yasin Abdul Aziz. His death at the age of 37 deprived the world of an innovative and passionate player.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.