Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography


Larry Coryell

Jazz Rock/Fusion

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Larry Coryell Spaces album cover
4.01 | 49 ratings | 7 reviews | 29% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

Write a review

from partners
Studio Album, released in 1970

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Spaces (Infinite) (9:16)
2. Rene's Theme (4:06)
3. Gloria's Step (4:29)
4. Wrong Is Right (9:00)
5. Chris (9:31)
6. New Year's Day in LA, 1968 (0:20)

Total Time 36:42

Bonus tracks on 2006 CD reissue:
7. Tyrone (11:35)
8. Planet End (8:45)

Line-up / Musicians

- Larry Coryell / electric & acoustic guitars

- John McLaughlin / electric & acoustic guitars
- Chick Corea / electric piano (5)
- Miroslav Vitous / double bass
- Billy Cobham / drums

Releases information

Artwork: Jules E. Halfant

LP Vanguard Apostolic ‎- VSD 6558 (1970, US)

CD Vanguard ‎- 240E 6842 (1989, Japan)
CD King Records ‎- KICJ 9016 (1995, Japan) Remastered
CD Vanguard ‎- VMD 79345 (2006, Germany) With 2 bonus tracks and new cover art

Thanks to Vibrationbaby for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
Edit this entry

Buy LARRY CORYELL Spaces Music

LARRY CORYELL Spaces ratings distribution

(49 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(29%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(41%)
Good, but non-essential (16%)
Collectors/fans only (14%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

LARRY CORYELL Spaces reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars A must for guitar fans.

A 1969 recording from Coryell, John McLaughlin, Chick Corea, Billy Cobham, and Miroslav Vitous with no reviews? Well I am not a jazz expert by any means but I have to believe that this album must be considered quite important in the genre. It is not the heavy jazz-fusion rocking you'd expect from later works but more of a traditional jazz feel.

It certainly works for me. Dualing guitarists Coryell and McLaughlin tear it up throughout this nuanced collection of improv. They play acoustics and only lightly distorted electrics occasionally. They don't actually dual as much as they back each other up on individual excursions, one flailing like a madman while the other lays out these distinct chords in the background. Oh there is some playful dualing but mostly they try not to step on each other's toes. Cobham is great as he accentuates beautifully while not taking over the ceremonies. Corea appears only briefly on e-piano but it adds much to the atmosphere. As I said, I'm a novice on jazz history but there has to be some jazz nuts lurking who can give this album a proper review. Let's have it please!

The Vanguard VMD-79345 cd issue has a different album cover than the one shown here. It's a very colorful fantasy painting and does more justice to this fine music than the cover with Larry's profile. No offense Larry.

Review by Sean Trane
4 stars Probably the album of Larry Coryell that he's most remembered for, and certainly the one of his breakthrough, Spaces came with this extraordinary colourful psychey artwork (a Jacques Wyrs painting) for a jazz album, even if not a pure jazz one. And what an all-star guest line-up too, inclining that LC had already gained respect from his pears way back in 69. Yes in some ways, Spaces is a groundbreaking album

Opening on the fusion-esque title track, which at times sounds like it was written by Ian Carr's troupes Nucleus without wind instruments, Spaces (credited to Larry's wife Julie) rocks right through your brains, with Larry taking first solo and McL the second, we're clearly heading for a guitar fest. We can even hear a bit of the future early Mahavishnu Orchestra in the ascending riff that comes back regularly throughout the 9 mins of the track. In the following track, René's theme, you'd swear that Django Reinhardt was playing, but it's not the case and neither is it for Django's pupil René Thomas (also a Belgian from Liège as Django was), but the track is from him. Closing up the A side, is Gloria's Step where Vitous takes the bow to his stand up bass, and the formation flies into what seems to be an improv, but the song is credited to LeFaro, so most likely, they were quite liberal in the adaptation.

On the flipside, the lengthy Right is Wrong is a cold and quick race between the guitar duo, an impressive showcase for both, both managing to have their own space and style, even if the type of jazz song didn't really allow it with its call for electro-acoustic guitars. Overall this track overstays its welcome a bit and is the weaker link on the album, but it still is an excellent one. The following 9-mins+ Chris (again credited to Julie) is much in the mould of its predecessor, but there is so much more happening here, Corea is making his presence felt on this track. A short guitar tidbits bids us farewell as the needle lifts off the wax plate.

Certainly one of LC's highlights in his career, Spaces remains a classic some almost 40 years after its first release. While this album is not a pure jazz-rock, it isn't a pure jazz album either, but it probably bends a bit more towards the latter possibility. Essential to confirmed early jazz rock fans wanting to understand the birth of JR/F.

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
5 stars This album is one of the granddaddies of the jazz rock fusion world. While Miles Davis may be credited for popularizing fusion with the jazz crowd, it was artists like Larry Coryell (here with the help of other future fusion giants John McLaughlin, Billy Cobham, Miroslav Vitous and Chick Corea) who shaped it into the powerful form it took in the early seventies with bands like Return To Forever and The Mahavishnu Orchestra.

While the music here is still much closer to jazz than rock, you can hear the beginnings of what was to come. And the performances on this album are just spectacular. Coryell and McLaughlin play rings around each other on most of the songs, with Vitous on acoustic bass, sometimes bowed, and sometimes almost getting an electric bass-like sound.

Chick Corea only appears on one track (Chris), but no matter, the band on this album is so great that really don't need him on the rest of the album.

A super cool album.

Review by Mellotron Storm
2 stars I'm pretty sure I had to wipe the drool from my chin when I first saw the lineup for this album. Larry Coryell and John McLaughlin on guitars, Miroslav Vitous double bass, Billy Cobham drums and Chick Corea electric piano. These guys should have burned the studio down they recorded in with that kind of fire-power right ? Well that's the problem, there is no fire. This comes across as one of those unplugged records or like a traditional acoustic Jazz album. So disappointed. It's like Coryell and McLaughlin are picking away usually in a fast paced manner but it all sounds the same and there is zero power. No amplified notes at all. Chick plays on one track only unfortunately because I do love the sound of electric piano.

Now there is what sounds like violin on a few songs including the opener "Spaces (Infinite), and i'm assuming it Vitous who does like to play bowed bass. This song changes tempos several times as the guitar and bass standout. "Rene's Theme" is more of the same as we hear strummed and picked guitar. Bass stands out 2 minutes in. "Gloria's Step" has more bowed bass with intricate guitar lines.

"Wrong Is Right" has uptempo picked guitar with cymbals and bass then bowed bass joins in. "Chris" is better as Corea helps out on electric piano but by this time i'm so done listening to this (haha). "New Year's Day In Los Angeles-1968" ends it with 20 seconds of guitar.

Great album cover and an incredible lineup. The music though lacks the "Rock" in Jazz / Rock.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Recorded in March of 1969, guest artists John McLaughlin, Billy Cobham, and Chick Corea were coming straight out of the February 18 recording sessions with Miles Davis for what would become the album In a Silent Way. Larry is quoted as saying that it took a whole day of recording for his guests to 'come back down to earth' in order to play his compositions as he set forth. Consequently, none of the music recorded from Day One ended up being used on the published album.

1. "Spaces (Infinite)" (9:16) Miroslav Vitous' bowed double bass is a nice presence during the opening 90-seconds but then he falls into fast picking as the song congeals and takes off at full speed at the end of the second minute. Larry takes the first extended solo of this composition credited to Julie Coryell (Larry's wife). John's unique support work on rhythm guitar is an example of one of the things that, for me, sets him apart from all other guitarists, and Billy and Miroslav are definitely on the same high-powered wavelength despite the more traditional jazz form Larry is wanting. Still, John and Larry seem to be having fun playing around and off of each other. (No wonder the first incarnation of the famous Guitar Trio with John and Paco De Lucia would include Larry before Al Di Meola was ever considered). There are definitely many beautiful melody ideas presented here as well as some very exciting dynamic play during the middle or second of the three very nicely composed motifs Julie and Larry have crafted together. (18.75/20)

2. "Rene's Theme" (4:06) an acoustic guitar duet between Larry and Belgian guitarist and Django Reinhardt devotee, René Thomas. You'd almost swear that it was, in fact, Django there in the room with Larry! (8.875/10)

3. "Gloria's Step" (4:29) double bass player Miroslav Vitous' bowed and unbowed playing are the highlights of this cover of a Scot LaFaro song made famous by Bill Evans's original Trio with his Live and the Village Vanguard sessions back in 1959 and 1960 (a song that is familiar to the listener because it has since become an ageless jazz standard). I also love Billy Cobham's exquisite work on the cymbals. (8.875/10)

4. "Wrong Is Right" (9:00) Larry, John, and Miroslav trade solos on this Django-paced jazz piece. Billy and John's more dynamically-varied playing definitely seem as they are coming from a different universe than that of Larry's. There are, however, some really nice melodies central to Larry's song that the band carries very faithfully. Also, I just love the pristine sound clarity of this one--not to mention the astonishing skill and spontaneity coming from all four of the band collaborators. (18.75/20)

5. "Chris" (9:31) like the opening song, this is a composition coming from Larry's wife, Julie. The addition of Chick Corea's electric piano is a wonderful effect to Larry's music, definitely smoothing and broadening the sound palette, taking a bit of the edge off of Larry's sometimes-abrasive jazz guitar sound and style. You might even say it offers the music (rightfully so, since it is listed as a composition of Larry's wife, Julie) a softer, more-feminine side. The subdued and rather laid-back restraint of the other three band members' performances while Larry is in the lead is not only noticeable but admirable--even remarkable. When Miroslav and John do get their turns at the front, they are still surprisingly soft and jazzy. (John almost lets himself go full Mahavishnu for a brief second in the final minute--with Billy quickly jumping on board with him--but then quickly pulls himself back in to conformity with Larry's expectations.) (18/20)

6. "New Year's Day in LA, 1968" (0:20) an excerpt of electric guitar and bass taken from a concert from the year before. I'm not sure why.

Total Time 36:42

Not the jazz-rock fusion masterpiece I was expecting, the "Godfather of Fusion" seems very much grounded still in the forms, sounds, and traditions of hard-bop and gypsy jazz more than the rock-infused idiom that he had helped to launch a few years before. But the collaboration with four other musicians who were each very much caught up in the movement to inject the explosive volume and abandon of Led Zeppelin-like Power Rock into their music is just enough to sway the music of three of the album's song (the three long compositions) over into the realms of forward-moving Jazz-Rock Fusion. Who knows the effect these recording sessions had on John McLaughlin, Billy Cobham, Miroslav Vitous, or Chick Corea, but their next projects would include Tony Williams' Lifetime, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Weather Report, and Return to Forever, respectively. I do not know the reason for the extraordinary delay in time between the March 1969 recording sessions of this album and its November 1970 release, but both dates fall into the still-early days of the Jazz-Rock Fusion explosion-- and settle well before the first releases of The Mahavishnu Orchestra (Aug. 14, 1971 and released Nevember 3, 1971), Weather Report (Recorded Feb. 16 & March 17 and released on May 12, 1971) or Return to Forever (February 2 & 3, 1972, released in September).

A-/five stars; a minor masterpiece of early Jazz-Rock Fusion.

Latest members reviews

4 stars Coryell hat guts asking these seasoned and high-calibre musicians to join his board. He must have convinced them probably also by shifting his sound more towards jazz after having initial more light-weight albums. It's certainly an ambitious record with great players. McLaughlin and Coryell make ... (read more)

Report this review (#2345860) | Posted by sgtpepper | Saturday, March 28, 2020 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Enter another Dimesnsion In 1969 it seemed that New York City was the center of the universe as far as the world of jazz was concerned. ... (read more)

Report this review (#145929) | Posted by Vibrationbaby | Friday, October 19, 2007 | Review Permanlink

Post a review of LARRY CORYELL "Spaces"

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.