Larry Young (musician)

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Larry Young
Background information
Also known asKhalid Yasin
Born(1940-10-07)October 7, 1940
Newark, New Jersey, U.S.
DiedMarch 30, 1978(1978-03-30) (aged 37)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Occupation(s)Musician, songwriter
LabelsBlue Note

Larry Young (also known as Khalid Yasin [Abdul Aziz]; October 7, 1940 – March 30, 1978)[1] was an American jazz organist and occasional pianist. Young's early work was strongly influenced by the soul jazz of Jimmy Smith, but he later pioneered a more experimental, modal approach to the Hammond B-3.[2]


Born and raised in Newark, New Jersey, United States, Young attended Newark Arts High School, where he began performing with a vocal group and a jazz band.[3] He was also the cousin of the drummer Jimmie Smith.[4]

Young played with various R&B bands in the 1950s, before gaining jazz experience with Jimmy Forrest, Lou Donaldson, Kenny Dorham, Hank Mobley and Tommy Turrentine.[1] Recording as a leader for Prestige from 1960, Young made a number of soul jazz discs, Testifying, Young Blues and Groove Street.[1] When Young signed with Blue Note around 1964, his music began to show the marked influence of John Coltrane.[1] In this period, he produced his most enduring work. He recorded several times as part of a trio with guitarist Grant Green and drummer Elvin Jones,[1] who were occasionally augmented by additional players. Most of these albums were released under Green's name, though Into Somethin' (with Sam Rivers on saxophone) became Young's Blue Note debut.[1] Unity, recorded in 1965, remains his best-known album; it features a front line of Joe Henderson and the young Woody Shaw.[1] Subsequent albums for Blue Note (Contrasts, Of Love and Peace, Heaven On Earth, Mother Ship) also drew on elements of the 1960s avant-garde and utilised local musicians from Young's hometown of Newark. Young then became a part of some of the earliest fusion groups: first on Emergency! with the Tony Williams Lifetime (with Tony Williams and John McLaughlin) and also on Miles Davis's Bitches Brew.[1] His sound with Lifetime was made distinctive by his often very percussive approach and regular heavy use of guitar and synthesizer-like effects. He is also known for a jam he recorded with rock guitarist Jimi Hendrix, which was released after Hendrix's death on the album, Nine to the Universe.

In March 1978, he checked into a hospital for stomach pains.[5] He died there on March 30, 1978, while being treated for what is said to be pneumonia.[6] However, the actual cause of his death is unclear.[2][7]


As leader[edit]

As sideman[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Colin Larkin, ed. (1992). The Guinness Who's Who of Jazz (First ed.). Guinness Publishing. p. 441. ISBN 0-85112-580-8.
  2. ^ a b "Larry Young | Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved August 3, 2021.
  3. ^ Biography, Larry Young Music. Accessed February 5, 2020. "Larry McCoy attended Arts High School in Newark, New Jersey in 1954. While at Arts High, Larry was a bass singer in a vocal group called the Challengers, a member of the Operetta Club and the leader of his own jazz combo."
  4. ^ Original linear notes from Larry Young's Groove Street
  5. ^ "Jazz news: Larry Young: 1964-65". 14 March 2016. Retrieved August 3, 2021.
  6. ^ "Larry Young's Self-Questioning Jazz". The New Yorker. 8 March 2016. Retrieved August 3, 2021.
  7. ^ "Young, Larry Jr. (Khaled Yasin) – Jazz News". 27 December 2014. Archived from the original on 2014-12-27. Retrieved August 3, 2021.
  8. ^ "Larry Young | Album Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved August 3, 2021.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]