Larry Young - Lawrence Of Newark
Larry Young’s album ‘Lawrence of Newark’ is an album of firsts; not only was it Larry’s first recording after departing Tony Williams’ Jazz-Fusion outfit Lifetime, it was also his only album recording for Jimmy Curtiss’ and Patrick Adams’ Perception Records and, moreover, his first solo outing not on Blue Note. Now we can add to that list of firsts with this being the first ever reissue.
Recorded in 1973 and released in 1975, Lawrence of Newark boasts a personnel line-up of no less than 19 musicians. A line-up that includes the multiphonic harmonics of Pharoah Sanders on Tenor Sax, fellow Lifetime member Juini Booth on Bass and percussionists Abdul Hakim, Umar Abdel Muizz and Juma Santos with Larry on Organ, Keys and production and mixing duties. Due to being contracted to Impulse Records at this time Pharoah’s name was kept off of the sleeve notes of the original release but his contribution was later confirmed and is clear and present for anyone to hear.
As well as his work on four LPs with Lifetime, Larry Young recorded many albums as a band leader, including the seminal works Fuel and Spaceball on Arista Records, six albums on Blue Note and also played a prominent role as sideman on Miles Davis’ game changing Bitches Brew album, four albums with Grant Green in the 60’s and John McLaughlin’s Love Devotion Surrender alongside Carlos Santana in 1972.
Widely acknowledged as a major contribution to the Black Consciousness and Black Power movements of the time, Lawrence of Newark is an album of compositions rather than songs, an album of moods and colours that couples harmonics and a Jazz/Rock fusion over poly- rhythms and a series of funk driven basslines. This is Afro-American music at its most inventive, innovative and creative and it absolutely grooves.