A true innovator on the Hammond B3, Young took a different musical path than any of the other organ masters of his time: Although he started out drawing his major influences from the work of Jimmy Smith and the gospel and blues elements that other players employed, but eventually turned to a more complex, modal approach to the organ with sophisticated harmonic and chordal structure
Larry Young was born on October 7, 1940, and hails from Newark, New Jersey. His background includes study of both classical and jazz music on the piano, but had a natural family bond with the organ. Larry Young, Senior, his father, was an organist and was the first major musical influence on his son. The father, moreover, provided an organ in the family home so that Larry Young, Junior, who had studied piano, could gravitate easily and at his own pace to the organ. In his teen years, Young was relatively inactive musically; but a reawakened interest in the organ, encouraged by his father, propelled Young into music in 1958. After a rhythm and blues apprenticeship, Young gained wider experience with Lou Donaldson; worked around New York and New Jersey with Kenny Dorham, Hank Mobley and Tommy Turrentine, among others; and then began heading his own units.