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Larry Coryell - The Essential Larry Coryell CD (album) cover


Larry Coryell


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.69 | 7 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars I hope Coryell fans will forgive me for saying so, but (with a few exceptions) this sounds like the kind of jazz-rock that hasn't worn well. You only need to play "Elementary guitar solo 5" or "Lady Coryell" to exclaim: 'Oh yes! I know just what's going on! Late 1960s: jazz cats desperately trying to stay hip!' The former sounds like a jam based on "She came in through the bathroom window" (off ABBEY ROAD); the latter is underwhelmingly psychedelic - you can't help thinking Jeff Beck and Jimi Hendrix did the same sort of thing a thousand times better. On "Yin" and "Scotland 1" the extended use of nervous, high-pitched trumpet and soprano sax sounds supremely irritating. The main problem seems to be that the musicians concerned attempted to fuse rock-guitar solos and a hard-rock beat with 1960s free jazz. The result is neither fish nor flesh. The classic 1950s and early 1960s recordings by the likes of Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk and Eric Dolphy now sound ten times fresher.

Nevertheless, this collection does contain a couple of great tunes. "The jam with Albert" does exactly what it says on the tin: it's a supremely dirty jam for rock guitar, bass (played by a guy called Albert) and drums. On "Stiffneck" Coryell duets with renowned jazz drummer Elvin Jones and therefore (mostly) limits himself to traditional jazz guitar. On the highly exciting "Spaces (Infinite)" Coryell is joined by fellow guitarist John McLaughlin, bass player Miroslav Vitous and drummer Billy Cobham. Finally, "After Later" is another free-spirited jam for guitar, bass and drums.

My only regret is that this CD-reissue does not contain Coryell's gorgeous collaboration with acoustic guitarist Ralph Towner (and two other founding members of the band Oregon), which opened the original double album (when it was still an LP).

fuxi | 3/5 |


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