Larry Young, « Talkin’ About J.C. »

Talkin’ About J.C is a composition based on a minor blues written by jazz organist Larry Young.

This transcription is from Grant Green‘s album  » Talkin’ About ! « . A great « organ trio » album recorded for the label Blue Note in 1964.

The title Talkin’ About J.C probably pays tribute to saxophonist John Coltrane. Larry Young is known to be one of the first jazz organist inspired by McCoy Tyner’s comping. An approach developped by MCoy Tyner Coltrane’s classic quartet in the early sixties.  

Talkin-About-JC-Larry-Young lead sheet download

Talkin’ About melody

The melody in bars 1-8 reminds a kind of « be-bop » line written in the key of G min. then transposed on fourth degree.

In the trio version, the melody is played by Larry Young with slightly variations in the phrasing and comping.

In the last four bars, the melody is based on the notes of the descending  melodic minor scale (from the ninth to the fifth).

Below are three variations (from what I hear), the bass part may be played with the left hand. The chords and the melody part with the right hand…

Larry Young Talkin' About JC

Larry Young Talkin' About JC

Larry Young Talkin' About JC

Talkin’ About rhythm

On the first head, the melody and the bass are played on the end of 2nd and 4th beat (upbeats).

Here, the melody and bass are played on the beats.

The melody is on upbeats, the bass is sometimes played with the melody or with the chords, the chord before G- is a C- (the IV-).

Talkin’ About harmony

In the last section of the head, the harmony is a II/ V going to Bb maj. (relative major) and coming back to G min. (instead of the usual II-7(b5)/ V7 in G min.  Larry Young is sometimes using these chords during the solos…


As a coda,  Larry Young is playing some typical voicings inspired by the approach of John Coltrane and McCoy Tyner. A « modal » approach of comping, using a lot of fourth and triads voicings.

Here is L.Y’s comping (from what I hear, but I think it’s getting close to the actual chords). L.Y is switching from the I- chord (G-) to a fourth degree related chord : C-, Eb or F7...

Larry Young's Coda on Talkin' About J.C
Larry Young’s Coda on Talkin’ About J.C

Some of the chords symbols are not specified because of its limitation and ambiguity.  

BONNE ÉCOUTE & BON JEU ! ____________________ENJOY & HAVE FUN !

First Published in 2013, revised in april 2020 – ------Article publié en 2013, révisé en avril 2020

Download TALKIN’ABOUT J.C (Larry Young) – PDF lead sheet

Compositions & standards - Talkin-About-JC-Larry-Young - C instruments.pdf


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