A John Coltrane influenced organist and founding member of drummer Tony Williams 1970’s “Lifetime” band that also included guitarist John Mcgloughlin.
Born in Newark, New Jersey, un-like the popular Jimmy Smith Larry was widely known for pioneering a modal and more rhythmic approach to playing organ. He attended the Arts High School in Newark in 1954. He was born Larry John McCoy and learned to appreciate the organ from his father Larry Young Sr. at pre-school age. He was called the “genius of virtuosity” in high school. He started using the name Larry Young when both he and his father were playing gigs around Newark.
Jack McDuff called him “The Coltrane of the Organ”. He later recorded with Coltrane and met drummer Elvin Jones who recorded with extensively. He went on to record with Mile Davis, Joe Henderson, Jimi Hendrix, Lionel Hampton, George Benson and many others.
His popular composition “Tyrone” (dedicated to his son who passed away at an early age) along with “Ritha” became jazz organ classics.
Larry Young received the Hammond “Excellence” award and was rated the #1 top organist in the world by Hammond in 1972.
The experience of playing before huge audiences on other tours had warped his judgment. He could not understand why musicians of far less ability and vision were so successful in the commercial marketplace while his efforts in the same idiom were not.
He toured with Houston Person and recorded with drummer Joe Chambers.
He passed away under mysterious circumstances but left a legacy of masterful performances.
Baltimore native Grammy award winner Gary Bartz entered Julliard School of music in NY at the age of 17. Described by Stanley Crouch as one who “played with an ongoing freshness and pursuit of linear illumination”.
Gary’s fathers North End Lounge on Gay Street in Baltimore hired Art Blakeys Jazz Messengers for a club engagement and Bartz didn’t miss the opportunity to make his talents known. He was hired immediately in 1965.
From 1962—1964 he had already been with Charles Mingus in the horn section with Eric Dolphy.
In 1968 Bartz toured and recorded with McCoy Tyner (who he tours with to this day) later recording and touring with drummer Max Roach. He is heard on Roach album “Members Don’t Get Weary”.
Miles Davis looked him up in 1970 and Gary is seen performing with Jack Dejhonette, Airto Moriera Chick Corea and Miles in the rare and recently released DVD “island of Wight “ concert.
The Baltimore City College graduate has recorded more than 40 albums and remains one of if not THE foremost reed player since the passing of John Coltrane.
Truly a Baltimore hero and Jazz Master.