Larry Young – Turn Off The Lights
Larry Young was an East-Coast jazz organist, active through the sixties on the Prestige and Blue Note labels, and through the seventies on Perception and Arista. What I wish to focus on is an element of Larry Young that stood him above many of his contemporaries – he was a true pioneer of the Hammond B-3 organ, but unlike other jazz artists, such as Jimmy Smith, Larry took a very modal approach to the Hammond. Larry Young also loved to experiment with music and was at the forefront of the fusion movement, playing with artists like Miles Davis (on Bitches Brew), Tony Williams and John McLaughlin (Mahavishnu Orchestra). Sadly he was taken from us at the young age of 37, dying of pneumonia.
But enough of the history lesson. The title of this article is; Larry Young – Turn Off The Lights. If you’re familiar with that track name or the LP “Larry Young’s Fuel”, then you’ll know where I’m going with this. Turn Off The Lights is a classic Moog track with a heavy, heavy break, as used on the Slum Village track Fat Cat Song, from “The Fantastic, Volume. 1”. It’s one of the most infectious and soulful tracks you are likely to hear in your lifetime – completed with amazing vocals by Linda “Tequila” Logan, who adds a certain ‘sensual’ element to a track already riddled with smooth. I love it.
When you think of the Moog synthesizer, you’d be forgiven for conjuring up images of Stevie Wonder, Sun Ra and even Kraftwerk, but Turn Off The Lights, for me personally, is the absolute epitome of Moog use. At seven minutes long it goes from accompanying a steady bassline, to out and out frenzied melodies, like it was an experimental jazz jamming session – an absolute journey of a track and one I can never get bored of.