Larry Young: The Moontrane


The Moontrane


Unity (Blue Note 97808)

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Larry Young (Khalid Yasin) (organ), Woody Shaw (trumpet), Joe Henderson (tenor sax), Elvin Jones (drums).

Recorded: Englewood Cliffs, N.J., November 10, 1965


Rating: 96/100 (learn more)

An absolutely essential recording, Unity is also the template for the “progressive” jazz organ date. While it’s organist Larry Young’s date, Unity could also be thought of as Woody Shaw’s coming-out party as an important jazz composer, with three originals of his on the record. It’s also notable as an early document of the Woody/Joe Henderson front line. “The Moontrane” has become a modern jazz standard, subsequently recorded by Woody in a number of recordings, both studio and live. While his solos on later versions, such as the 1975 recording on Muse, may have more reach and fire, I have a special regard for the solo statements of young Woody on this first version from 1965. This record has been a real touchstone for musicians ever since it came out, and I vividly remember my own excitement in first hearing it over 30 years ago!

Reviewer: Brian Lynch

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