Michael B. Richman | Portland, Maine USA | 10/07/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Mother Ship," organist Larry Young's final recording for Blue Note, is also one of trumpeter Lee Morgan's last great appearances, along with his own "Live at the Lighthouse" and "The Last Session" (see my reviews). Recorded on February 7, 1969, Larry and Lee's quartet is rounded out by tenor-saxophonist Herbert Morgan (no relation to Lee) and drummer Eddie Gladden. After the multi-layered horn textures and exploration found on his three earlier albums ("Of Love and Peace," "Contrasts" and "Heaven on Earth" -- all out-of-print), in many ways "Mother Ship" revisits the classic "Unity." Of course once one goes "out there," you never come back quite the same, and "Mother Ship" has a style and feel all its own. Since this title is a limited edition in the Connoisseur Series, get on the "Mother Ship" while you can."
kingofswing881 | Amsterdam, NY United States | 01/04/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"this newly issued remastering of larry young's final blue note date, "mother ship," is also one of his most experimental. the 5 tracks all ooze originality. there's a lot of really great playing, especially by saxophonist herbert morgan. i hadn't heard about him until i picked this up, and he's a phenomenal player!!!! larry's playing is superb too; his solos were unpredictable and exciting. however, i was a little surprised by lee morgan. this was after his swimming accident, and he really doesn't sound very good on these songs. even his so-called "best solo" sounds really weak and forced (technically, at least). i'm probably being a little harsh, though (i am a trumpet player). overall, lee's surprisingly disappointing performance is only a small smudge on this overall stellar recording."
Unique CD ny Larry Young
Darren Heinrich | Chippendale, NSW Australia | 03/22/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Larry Young is more renowned for his earlier Blue Note album "Unity" and especially his duet with Elvin Jones on "Monk's Dream". However the album is also excellent, and is further down the free jazz road. For many (including myself) the words "free jazz" can send us running in the opposite direction but this CD is really worth checking out. Young's simple melodies range from the hauntingly beautiful to the down right catchy. "Street Scene" is probably my favourite. The uptempo latin tune "Love Drops" is a surprise, starting fairly straight ahead before introducing meter changes. Pity that the horns struggle with the melody at times. The album has a great groove with nice interplay between Young and drummer Eddie Gladden. I found this CD interesting the first time I heard it and it continues to entertain as I discover its many layers."
Another tasty remaster from the connoisseur series
B.J. Packett II | Annapolis, MD | 01/18/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Casual listeners following the major RVG releases need no better introduction to Larry Young than his increasingly esteemed Unity outing with Woody Shaw, Joe Henderson and Elvin. Nonetheless, perhaps his final Blue Note date, Mother Ship, from 1969 may serve as a proper introduction to the highly combustible Eddie Gladden occupying the drum chair on this particular outing. Gladden is a real firecracker on the kit, and if (potentially unfair) comparisons with Unity will persist, the absence of the immortal Elvin on this date will perhaps surprisingly not prove to be the shortcoming of the album in question. Gladden is blowing up all over the record, and, I must confess, prompted a bit of detective work on my part in service of finding other traces of his musical existence.
As is well noted elsewhere, some of your stodgier jazz consumers would sooner be regaling themselves with the anodyne sounds of BBmak than they would stand for a Hammond violating the chastity of their treasured idiom. As is also well noted, Larry Young is in fact the aural tonic for those who would normally hear in an organ little more than straight grease. Larry's playing here is exploratory and perhaps a bit transitional, to be sure, but it's also very GOOD. And while I don't think the songwriting is quite as strong - to perpetuate myself a somewhat unfortunate critical comparison - as the stuff on Unity, Young still writes fairly compelling heads and renders some interesting forms on which this outfit displays its prodigious chops. Herbert Morgan strikes me as an underrated monster of the tenor, obvious Trane parallels be damned. Lee of the non-brothers Morgan needs no introduction here, even though this may not be the disc with which to begin your Lee Morgan collection.
Against the conventional move to decry the putrescence of art under the market-driven philistinism of the late-capitalist recording industry (see BBmak), I welcome with big ears the opportunity (however transient) to delve a little deeper into the van Gelder vaults in order to hear somewhat marginal little gems like the one you're getting ready to order."