Larry Young
Love Cry Want
New Jazz : 1997 (rec. 1972)

LY, organ; Nicholas, guitar, synth; Joe Gallivan, guitar, synth, drums, percussion; Jimmy Molnieri, drums, percussion.

Destination: Out’s Dept. of “Believe It or Not”:
We belatedly kick off the New Year with some insane electro space rock from Larry Young. This remarkable ensemble faced the wrath of none other than Richard Nixon, who personally ordered his staff to pull the plug on one of their concerts.  But more on that in a minute.

This molten recording wasn’t released until 1997 and even then it quickly disappeared from sight. That’s a shame because Love Cry Want is one of Young’s greatest sessions, straight up. It offers a more concise and ragged version of the blown-out kozmigroov explorations of the great Lawrence of Newark and even trumps the speaker-damaged assault of Tony Williams Lifetime’s Emergency! Strong words, but hearing is believing.

“Peace” is a bare-knuckled track that mixes manic funk rhythms, percussive organ swirls, and heavy distortion. “Angels Wings” offers some cascading riffs before grinding its feathers into storms of bracing industrial noise. The languid “Ancient Place” features some seriously futurist electronic graffiti that slowly coalesces into a heady ritualistic groove.

In 1972, this group took up residence in Lafayette Park with the intention of levitating the nearby White House. The Yippies hadn’t managed the trick with the Pentagon in 1968, but Nixon was no fool. If any music stood a chance, this was it. Taking no chances, he personally ordered H. R. Haldeman to pull the plug on the concert. Check out WFMU’s always excellent Beware of the Blog for the full scoop.

We can’t but wonder where the “music as a weapon” ethos of avant jazz has gone. Who would you like to see levitated and who could pull it off?

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