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Larry Coryell & The Brubeck Brothers

Read Larry Coryell's biography



Larry Coryell - European Impressions [Arista Novus AN 3005] (1978)

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ITEM# SR-ARAN3005
Ratings: C=VG+; LP=VG+

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Artist:

Larry Coryell

Title:

European Impressions

Released: 1978
Label: Arista Novus
Catalog: AN 3005
Genre: Jazz, Free Improvisation, Soul Jazz


T R A C K L I S T:
01 Toronto Under The Sign Of Capricorn
02 For Philip And Django
03 Rodrigo Reflections
04 April Seventh
05 Silver Medley: Song For My Father, Sister Sadie
06 Copenhagen Impressions
07 Variations On A Theme
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Album Review

David R. Adler [allmusic.com]

This record, half of which was recorded live at the 1978 Montreux Jazz Festival, remains one of the finest documents in the genre of steel-string acoustic jazz guitar. Along with John McLaughlin, Al DiMeola, and a small handful of others, Larry Coryell was a major figure in the field, which saw its heyday throughout much of the '70s and '80s. Here was a new sort of guitar hero, not wailing in front of a wall of Marshall amps, but sitting alone with an acoustic guitar (often a round-backed Ovation), playing music rooted in the improvisational aesthetics of jazz but which often veered all over the stylistic map -- classical, flamenco, 12-tone, rock, and just about anything else. Coryell's opening statement, ''Toronto Under the Sign of Capricorn,'' fits the bill to a T: Beginning with cryptic, atonal lines and rhythmically off-kilter phrases, the piece then segues into a slow, romantic melody before it erupts into a rousing vamp punctuated with flurries of speed-picked, 16th-note fills. The performance is replete with showmanship, but that's not all there is to it; indeed, Coryell's technique is too rough-hewn to be thrilling all on its own. What makes the piece so interesting is its melodic integrity, rhythmic energy, and three-tiered structure. One hears similar qualities on the other two live tracks, ''For Philip and Django'' and ''Rodrigo Reflections,'' and on three of the four studio cuts, ''April Seventh,'' ''Variations on a Theme,'' and the wonderfully dreamy ''Copenhagen Impressions.'' While one may expect a reversion to straight-ahead jazz on the Horace Silver medley ''Song for My Father/Sister Sadie,'' Coryell doggedly remolds these hard bop standards into his own kind of acoustic guitar music. Essential for guitar buffs, although one has to dig around to locate a copy.


Larry Coryell & The Brubeck Brothers - Better Than Live  [Direct-Disk Labs D D 109] (1978)

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LP to Digital [FLAC] transfer bundle $59.99
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ITEM# SR-DIDD109
Ratings: C=NM-; LP=NM-

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Artist:

Larry Coryell & The Brubeck Brothers

Title:

Better Than Live

Released: 1978
Label: Direct-Disk Labs
Catalog: D D 109
Genre: Jazz
NOTE: Special Limited Edition Serial Number 12471


Matrix / Runout (Side A):
DD-109-1-1-4 / Masterfonics

Matrix / Runout (Side B):
DD-109-2-1-5 / Masterfonics
T R A C K L I S T:
01 Fire Serpent
02 In The Spanish Mode
03 The Midnight Sailor
04 Mirth
05 The Secret One
06 Just Like Being Born
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Urbaniak-Coryell Band - Facts Of Life [Love Records USLP-1-1111] (1983)

LP to Digital [FLAC] transfer bundle $39.99
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ITEM# SR-LOUSLP11111
Ratings: C=VG; LP=VG+

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Artist:

Urbaniak-Coryell Band

Title:

Facts Of Life

Released: 1983
Label: Love Records
Catalog: USLP-1-1111
Genre: Jazz


T R A C K L I S T:
01 Facts Of Life
02 Tango
03 Just Like Being Born
04 Body Rub
05 The Other Side
06 Nothing Is Forever
07 Fon Wolfang Amadeus
08 Kasia
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Larry Coryell's Biography

As one of the pioneers of jazz-rock -- perhaps the pioneer in the ears of some -- Larry Coryell deserves a special place in the history books. He brought what amounted to a nearly alien sensibility to jazz electric guitar playing in the 1960s, a hard-edged, cutting tone, phrasing and note-bending that owed as much to blues, rock and even country as it did to earlier, smoother bop influences. Yet as a true eclectic, armed with a brilliant technique, he is comfortable in almost every style, covering almost every base from the most decibel-heavy, distortion-laden electric work to the most delicate, soothing, intricate lines on acoustic guitar. Unfortunately, a lot of his most crucial electric work from the '60s and '70s is missing on CD, tied up by the erratic reissue schemes of Vanguard, RCA and other labels, and by jazz-rock's myopically low level of status in the CD era (although that mindset is slowly changing).

Born in Galveston, Texas on April 2, 1943 Coryell grew up in the Seattle, Washington area where his mother introduced him to the piano at the tender age of 4. He switched to guitar and played rock music while in his teens. He didn't consider himself good enough to pursue a music career and studied journalism at The University of Washington while simultaneously taking private guitar lessons. By 1965 he had relocated to New York City and began taking classical guitar lessons which would figure prominently in later stages of his career. Although citing Chet Atkins and Chuck Berry as early influences he also took cues from jazzmen such as John Coltrane and Wes Montgomery. He was also inspired by the popular music of the day by the Beatles, The Byrds and Bob Dylan and worked diligently to meld both rock and jazz stylings into his technique. This was reflected on his debut recording performance on drummer Chico Hamilton's album " The Dealer" where he sounded like chuck Berry at times with his almost distorted "fat" tone. Also in 1966 he formed a psychedelic band called The Free Spirits on which he also sang vocals, played the sitar and did most of the composing. Although conceptually the band's music conformed to the psychedelic formula with titles like "Bad News Cat" and" I'm Gonna Be Free" it foreshadowed jazz rock with more complex soloing by Coryell and Sax/flute player Jim Pepper. However, it wasn't until three years later after apprenticing on albums by Vibraphonist Gary Burton and flutist Herbie Mann and gigging with the likes of Jack Bruce and others that Coryell established his multifarious musical voice, releasing two solo albums which mixed jazz, classical and rock ingredients. In late 1969 he recorded "Spaces", the album for which he is most noted. It was a guitar blow-out which also included John McLaughlin who was also sitting on the fence between rock and jazz at the time and the cogitative result formed what many aficionados consider to be the embryo from which the fusion jazz movement of the 1970s emerged. It contained insane tempos and fiery guitar exchanges which were often beyond category not to mention some innovating acoustic bass work by Miroslav Vitous and power drumming by Billy Cobham both of whom were to make contributions to Jazz rock throughout the `70s.

His career, however, began in era of guitar rock, where he was able to rise for a time with legends such as Jimi Hendrix, Carlos Santana, and Eric Clapton. As this era came to a close, his musical expression took him on a diverse journey, and though he did not receive the level of commercial fame the aformentioned musicians had, he was still able to make his mark in music by way of the jazz & fusion world. His music continues to influence musicians and fans internationally and will continue to do so for a very long time. [larrycoryell.net]
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