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Larry Coryell

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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Larry Coryell Barefoot Boy album cover
4.35 | 30 ratings | 4 reviews | 40% 5 stars

Essential: a masterpiece of
progressive rock music

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Studio Album, released in 1971

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Gypsy Queen (11:50)
2. The Great Escape (8:39)
3. Call to Higher Consciousness (20:00)

Total Time 40:29

Line-up / Musicians

- Larry Coryell / guitar

- Steve Marcus / soprano (1,2) & tenor (3) saxophones
- Michael Mandel / piano (3)
- Mervin Bronson / bass
- Roy Haynes / drums
- Lawrence Killian / congas
- Harry Wilkinson / percussion

Releases information

Recorded at Ladyland Studios, NYC 1971

Artwork: Ultura Concepts with Bob Gruen (photo)

LP Flying Dutchman ‎- FD-10139 (1971, US)

CD One Way Records ‎- OW 71001 (2000, US)
CD BGP Records ‎- CDBGPM 269 (2013, Europe) Remastered by Nick Robbins

Thanks to Vibrationbaby for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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LARRY CORYELL Barefoot Boy ratings distribution

(30 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(40%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(37%)
Good, but non-essential (13%)
Collectors/fans only (7%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

LARRY CORYELL Barefoot Boy reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
5 stars Probably Larry Coryell's most important album outside the Eleventh House efforts, Barefoot Boy is the first truly jazz-rock album of his. Although LC took the Village Gate line-up of Bronson and Wilkinson, he future regular collabs Steve Markus (sax) and his old school friend Mike Mandel (KB) to make a sensational line-up that will make the next few albums' basis. With one of the poorer artwork of his early discography, BB is just three tracks but do they ever smoke, breathing in some cool rapid conga-fuelled rock and swallowing a wild sax and spewing out a torrid incandescent lava flow that will set fire to your speakers if listened to loud, let alone your brain cells.

Indeed the 12-mins Gypsy Queen is a long steady rapid-fire rock beat, but it serves as a base for Markus' absolutely wild sax solo, while Coryell either supports Markus or outdoes him in astounding Hendrix-like solos. The following 8-mins+ Great Escape is a much funkier (but in a very rock way) driven on Bronson's bass, where again LC is pouring his heart into his solo. Somehow the second Traffic line-up (Kwaaku Reebop) is not far away. The flipside is a sidelong extrapolation of The Higher Consciousness, where Markus and Coryell directly take the track into pure Nucleus-like fusion with Mandel pulling the track later in a Coltrane mode, although he won't match Tyner's brilliance, but still manage a good rendition. Too bad the track is plagued with an almost 4 minutes drum solo (Haynes is no Elvin Jones), but once the track resumes, complete madness has taken over the musos

Although LC had made some terrific albums up to this one, they were, shall we say a bit in the Hendrix mode, something that dramatically changes with BB. Well LC had found a stable group and it would be the same line-up to appear on next year's just as superb Offering and the much poorer Real Great Escape, before LC will take Mandel to found The Eleventh House. Possibly LC's crowning achievement, this album is an easy five star.

Review by Mellotron Storm
5 stars This is my favourite Larry Coryell album. It reminds me a lot of what Miles was doing at this time in 1971 with all that percussion but we get sax instead of trumpet. We get three long tracks over the 40 plus minutes. A five piece with a percussionist, drummer and congas player while Larry offers up some amazing guitar work and we get both soprano and tenor sax. We also get two guests adding piano and bass. The other albums Larry plays on that I really like are ET CETERA's "Knirsch" recording along with the first two Eleventh House recordings. He has such a big discography but those early to mid seventies records that he's on are my favourites. I should also mention the two albums he did with Steve Smith in the late nineties.

"Gypsy Queen" is actually a cover of a Gabor Szabo song that was originally five minutes long but Larry increases it here to almost 12 minutes. I haven't heard the original by this influential Hungarian Jazz guitarist. It opens with percussions and drums as the soprano sax comes in over top. Man I'm so into this type of music. That sax is incredible and adventerous as well. Is that guitar before 5 minutes! Oh my! Soon Coryell is ripping it up a minute later after those experimental guitar expressions. The sax is back a minute later having stepped aside for the guitar and here he is lighting it up big time, complete chaos. Drums and percussions only 10 1/2 minutes in but the guitar returns to end it. What a song!

"The Great Escape" opens with honking soprano sax and a catchy beat with bass. Hard not to bop around to this one. The guitar replaces the sax before a minute. The sax is back after 3 1/2 minutes as the guitar continues but it takes a back seat. The guitar is back to the forefront at 7 minutes as the sax steps aside to the end.

"Call To The Higher Consciousness" is the side long 20 minute closer. I like that we get some electric piano on this one. Quite the dramatic opening with guitar, sax and fast paced piano melodies. It settles in at 1/2 minutes and this reminds me of NUCLEUS. It's so uplifting for me hearing the electric piano, drums and tenor sax. The sax will start to become the focus playing over top. The guitar is back before 5 minutes but the sax still dominates here until stepping aside around 5 1/2 minutes as the guitar becomes the focus. The piano is back after 7 1/2 minutes as the guitar steps aside. It all stops before 10 minutes as we get that drum solo lasting until before 14 minutes when the guitar and sax return. This sounds like the intro and it also will settle into a groove after 15 minutes like before as themes are repeated. An amazing tune!

Without question one of my favourite albums from 1971 and that's saying something.

Latest members reviews

3 stars I am in the minority of all reviewers because of several aspects: This is a free improvisational music that completely kills any compositional quality and structure of tracks. The second main aspect is the saxophone that most of the time defeats guitar with its intensity. The third track fares ... (read more)

Report this review (#2546319) | Posted by sgtpepper | Friday, May 28, 2021 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Recorded at Lady Land studios in `71 Coryell grooves through three highly inprovisational pieces which are centered around his resplendent electric guitar playing and Steve Marcus` screeching saxes on this free for all which also features the relentless drumming of Roy Haynes. It`s a solid exampl ... (read more)

Report this review (#132094) | Posted by Vibrationbaby | Monday, August 6, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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