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Talkin' About! (1964)

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Larry Young

On the heels of Matador and Solid, two of his most advanced albums, Grant Green decided to continue the more modal direction he'd begun pursuing with the help of members of Coltrane's quartet. Accordingly, he hooked up with organist Larry Young, who was just beginning to come into his own as the first Hammond B-3 player to incorporate Coltrane's modal innovations into his own style. Talkin' About is the first of three albums the Green/Young team recorded together with Coltrane drummer Elvin Jones, and it's exceptional, one of the most underrated items in Green's discography. With just a basic organ trio lineup, the album works a fascinating middle ground between the soul-jazz of Green's early days and the modal flavor of his most recent work. Though Young's style wasn't quite fully formed yet, he's no longer the in-the-pocket Jimmy Smith disciple of his earliest sessions; his playing here is far more adventurous than the typical soul-jazz date, both harmonically and rhythmically. Jones and Young often play off one another to create an intricate, percolating pulse that's miles ahead of the standard soul-jazz groove. The trio's interplay is best showcased on Young's Coltrane tribute, "Talkin' About J.C.," a monster jam that's worth every one of its nearly 12 minutes, and the cheerful "I'm an Old Cowhand," popularized as a jazz tune by Sonny Rollins. Meanwhile, Young and Green positively shimmer together on the ballad numbers, "People" and "You Don't Know What Love Is." It all makes for a terrific album that ranks in Green's uppermost echelon. ~ Steve Huey