LARRY YOUNG — Larry Young's Fuel

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LARRY YOUNG - Larry Young's Fuel cover
3.52 | 5 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 1975

Filed under Funk Jazz
By LARRY YOUNG

Tracklist

A1 Fuel For The Fire 6:07
A2 I Ching (Book Of Changes) 6:25
A3 Turn Off The Lights 7:03
B1 Floating 4:12
B2 H + J = B (Hustle + Jam = Bread) 6:17
B3 People Do Be Funny 3:42
B4 New York Electric Street Music 8:33

Total Time: 42:21

Line-up/Musicians

- Fernando Saunders / Bass [Fender Jazz Bass, Eliminator 1 Bottom Speaker, B-4 Head]
- Rob Gottfried / Congas, Gong [Korean], Chimes [Yucatan Wind Chime]
- Santiago (Sandy) Torano / Guitar [Gibson Es-335]
- Larry Young / Synthesizer [Mini Moog Synthesizer, Cdx-0652 Portable Moog Organ, Frm-s810 Freeman String Symphonizer, Hammond Organ B-3], Electric Piano [Fender Rhodes], Piano [Acoustic],Vocals ((tracks: B4))
- Linda "Tequila" Logan (tracks: A1, A3, B3)/ Vocals

About this release

Arista – AL 4051

Thanks to snobb, EZ Money for the updates

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LARRY YOUNG LARRY YOUNG'S FUEL reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

Rokukai
Larry Young continues to push the envelope on this hot piece of avantprogfunkjazz. For those of you who aren't acquainted with Young's work, he's been described as "the Coltrane of the organ" high praise indeed. Starting as a Jimmy Smith follower, he slowly began branching further into the sonic unknown, becoming a free and avant-jazz pioneer. His albums in the mid sixties are difficult, rewarding, challenging listens that established the Hammond B-3 as a true force in the avant game. He further cemented his legacy on Bitches Brew and in Lifetime, a trio with John McLaughlin and Tony Williams.

Fuel, on the other hand, is not difficult to listen to. At least for me. Larry never ran with the in-crowd, and in the '70's he began hanging with fringe musicians, young hungry artists willing to challenge the boundaries of sonic enjoyment. Larry was turned on and influenced by the psychedelic and funk/soul/r&b sounds of the day, and incorporates them into his avant-funk-jazz hybrid.

It's definitely not the most polished funkjazz I've heard, but man does Larry sound progressive in spots. On "I Ching (Book of Changes)" and "New York Electric Street Music" you'd swear Rick Wakeman was playing. Mini Moog, Clavinet, B-3, Piano--Young plays it all. (Keep and ear out for Larry Coryell, who makes a "special appearance")

The appeal of the album lies with Young's ability to stay on the fringes of popular jazz. He's definitely less subdued among his organ contemporaries, like Don Patterson, Jack McDuff, John Patton, Reuben Wilson, Jimmy Smith et al, and the funk here is true. Young refuses to play anything straight, and for me that equals a refreshing and satisfying album. I've been playing this record at parties for years and I always get the "What's that Great Music?" line.

4+ on my scale.

js
Of the three strange solo albums that Larry Young put out in the 70s, Fuel is probably the least successful. It's not a terrible album, but not great either. There are two cuts that feature Larry's always unique take on the fusion of the day, one cut that is an outstanding minimalist polyrhythmic electro-funk pressure cooker and four funk/jazz numbers that feature vocalist Laura Logan. It's the four vocal numbers that drag the album down. Laura is a good vocalist in a nasal NYC jazz style sort of way, but when you combine that style of singing with the band's hyper jazz/funk grooves, the result makes the band sound like a happy hour combo in anywhere downtown mid-1970's USA. These songs aren't particularly bad, we just want better from Larry Young. The final cut on the album finally pushes things too far when Larry adds his 'vocals' that sound like a cross between Count Chocula and Fred Schneider of the B-52s. His bizarre urban beatnik lyrics are funny the first time you hear them, but don't hold up to repeat listens at all. As usual with Young during this period, his semi-kitsch fusion numbers, as well as almost the whole rest of the album, feature very raw and upfront unfiltered analog synthesizers. Larry was very unique in this respect in that his synthesizers still sounded like 60s synth novelty records well into the 70s. I could see this album as an acid jazz DJ's dream mystery disc with it's wealth of bizarre instrumentals and weird obscure hyper funk. I like this album, but I like almost anything by Larry Young. His personal and almost naïve take on any genre is always refreshing and curiously fascinating even when the results are uneven as they are on this album.

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