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Larry Coryell

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Larry Coryell The Eleventh House: Introducing The Eleventh House With Larry Coryell album cover
4.04 | 54 ratings | 8 reviews | 35% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1974

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Birdfingers (3:07)
2. The Funky Waltz (5:10)
3. Low-Lee-Tah (4:17)
4. Adam Smasher (4:30)
5. Joy Ride (6:08)
6. Yin (6:03)
7. Theme for a Dream (3:26)
8. Gratitude "A So Low" (3:21)
9. Ism - Ejercicio (3:59)
10. Right On Y'All (4:21)

Total Time 44:22

Bonus tracks on 2001 reissue:
11. Cover Girl (5:37)
12. Rocks (4:48)
13. The Eyes of Love (3:21)

Line-up / Musicians

- Larry Coryell / guitar
- Randy Brecker / trumpet (1-10)
- Mike Mandel / piano, ARP synth
- Danny Trifan / bass
- Alphonse Mouzon / percussion
- Mike Lawrence / trumpet (11-13)

Releases information

Artwork: "Visions Cosmiques" by Jacques Wyrs

LP Vanguard - VSD 79342 (1974, US)

CD Universe - UV 047 (2001, Italy) With 3 bonus tracks

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Buy LARRY CORYELL The Eleventh House: Introducing The Eleventh House With Larry Coryell Music

LARRY CORYELL The Eleventh House: Introducing The Eleventh House With Larry Coryell ratings distribution

(54 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(35%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(46%)
Good, but non-essential (15%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

LARRY CORYELL The Eleventh House: Introducing The Eleventh House With Larry Coryell reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by The Owl
5 stars You know this thing means business, from the stellar lineup including trumpeter Randy Brecker to the appropriately titled burning opening track Birdfingers (and those fingers was a flyin' here!). Here, Larry and Company carved out a unique sound for themselves in a genre' that Larry helped pioneer. The interaction between Larry C and Randy Brecker is pure magic, as keyboardist Mike Mandell lets forth funky Herbie Hancock-eque interjections and the rhythm section of bassist Danny Trifan and drummer Alphonse Mouzon pushes things along at a harrowing pace.

The Highlights: Birdfingers with Larry and Randy exchanging lively phrases and challenges, Funky Waltz, Low-Le-Tah, and the screamingly funky Adam Smasher amongst many. The introspective Theme For A Dream is a great change of pace. Even more wonderfully psychotronic is the inclusion of extra tracks like the ominous Cover Girl (which was even more so played live), Randy Brecker's Rocks (which later wound up redone on the first Brecker Bros. album) and Eyes of Love. Gratitude-A-So-Low is a mysterious and edgy electric guitar solo piece by Larry that will have you on the edge of your seat as well.

The Only Gripe: Alphonse Mouzon's drumming, sometimes grooving and then maddeningly sloppy and over-technical in the blink of an eye. Having the sheer chops that Alphonse did was both a wonderful blessing AND a horrible curse at the same time. Depending on the song, Alphonse could either carry it along very strongly, or let his technique and ego get so out of control and try to cram as many notes into a bar as fast as possible like a caffeine-crazed octopus, leaving little to no breathing room for the other musicians at times. However, the sheer quality of the tunes and the players enables me to look past this more than I would otherwise.

Gripes aside, I am just sooooo glad this made it to CD, a wonderful slice of classic fusion and Larry Coryell reaching for a higher level!

Review by Sean Trane
4 stars 4.5 stars really!!!!

As the title indicates, this LC's new fusion group, as he thought it was also pertinent to build a JR/F group as McL had (MO), or Zawinul and Shorter (WR), or Corea (RTF). So in came The Eleventh House, with a solid line-up, with powerhouse drummer Alphonse Mouzon, Randy Brecker on trumpet, Mike Mandel on keys and little-known Tritan on bass. Again produced by Vanguard label in-house Danny Weiss (it seems LC only wanted him), this album comes again with a major psychey and spacey artwork from Jacques Wyrs. But as LC was one of the last great jazzman to get his group together (or jump on the bandwagon if you wish), he wouldn't really be as successful either commercially or artistically. This EH project will not be a vehicle for its leader, the way MO would be for McL, as LC will regularly leave space for Alphonse Mouzon and Mike Mandel writing songs (two each on this album). The grouop has its roots in the previous LC solo album Offering.

While this debut album smokes in places, and rocks your wimpy arse to the ground, it also has its share of flaws and fails to really convince completely as did Inner Mounting Flame or Weather Report's debut did. Starting on the ultra fast asc/desc-ending riff of Birdfingers, which resembles a bit MO's first album, Brecker gets the solos for himself. The following Mouzon-penned Funky Waltz is more reminiscent of WR's Mysterious Traveller (same ideal: find a groove and stick to it, soloing away), released the same year, with Brecker's trumpet replacing Shorter's sax. Low-Lee-Tah (I suppose Lolita) is a slow torrid fusion, seemingly crossing early MO and early WR, and it comes out as a pure scorcher. The Mandel-written Adam Smasher should be the pianist's bravery piece, but Brecker again seems to steal the show, with Coryell's wah-wah guitar solo equally impressive. Mandell can't catch his moment in his other track, Joy Ride, and his choice of synth is astonishing for the year (he must've been one of the first to own it), but I was never fond of that sound, which will pollute the later 70's fusion albums.

On the flipside, Yin kicks in open doors, but it's so sweet to get this type of 100 mph track right between MO and WR, RTF being not far away, either. 100% molten lava pouring out of the crater of your speakers, with again the same synth. The Dream theme is a slow and rather uninteresting tune, lacking the energy of its sister tracks. Gratitude is a guitar solo piece that would've been best left out, and saved for solo album. Ism-Ejercico is much reminiscent of Yin and Birdfinger, again finding its influences on the MO/WR axis. The closing Right On (Mouzon-penned) repeats the formula of Funky Waltz with better luck and finesse.

Soooo, aside a weaker passage on the flipside, Eleventh House's debut is a very impressive start and maybe the group's finer moments, even if there will be more. Maybe LC's most

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Most popular Larry Coryell album, really not a bad one ... but not for my taste.

Larry plays plenty of fast, technical and liquid guitar, and in best moments it sounds as excellent fusion from mid 70-s. But - whole music is bombastic (not very often case for progressive jazz fusion from mid 70-s), and Randy Brecker's trumpet adds many of brass orchestration I really don't like there.

By my head I understand, that Larry demonstrates there possibly one of his best fusion guitars playing, but the whole music just doesn't touch my heart. It too often looks as bombastic demonstration of musicians abilities and real great atmosphere you can so often feel in many early 70-s fusion releases, is absent there.

Again, it's more question of taste I believe. If you can enjoy fast and technical guitar-based jazz fusion with some bombastic brass all around, possibly you will like this album more than me. And -Alphonse Mouzon's drumming there is really great!

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars Another solid Jazz/Fusion album from Larry Coryell. Not as good as the previously released "Barefoot Boy" but comparible to the next one with THE ELEVENTH HOUSE called "Level One". A five piece here with Alphonse Mouzon on drums, Randy Brecker on trumpet and of course Coryell on guitar plus a bass player and keyboardist playing electric piano and synths. This was released in 1974 and the compositions were written by Coryell, Mandell and Mouzon plus the song "Yin" by Wolfgang Dauner.

"Birdfingers" is a tune where each member gets to share the spotlight and strut their stuff I guess you could say. After a brief drum solo the keys and guitar trade off then the trumpet starts to come and go trading off with the guitar. Soon electric piano, guitar and trumpet are trading off.

"The Funky Waltz" is a top three for me. Just a trippy sound here with the drums and bass as trumpet and electric piano help out in this relaxed song. Guitar to the fore around 1 1/2 minutes and it sounds really good after 2 minutes. Electric piano leads at 3 1/2 minutes as the guitar steps aside then drums lead a minute later. I like this one a lot.

"Low-Lee-Tah" is my favourite. Just love the opening with that guitar and bass, so laid back and atmospheric. Drums and trumpet join in just before a minute. So good. Trumpet comes to the fore before 2 minutes then it's the guitar's turn around 2 1/2 minutes. Nice. More trumpet follows but it's more laid back this time.

"Adam Smasher" has trumpet blasts over the drums, bass and e-piano then the piano leads as the drums and bass support. The trumpet is back again around 1 1/2 minutes then the guitar a minute later. "Joyride" is laid back with keys, bass and a beat often leading the way. It's brighter when the electric piano comes in before 2 minutes, the guitar follows. it calms down again before a big finish.

"Yin" opens with drums and bass that impress with the trumpet over top, electric piano too. The guitar arrives just before 2 minutes. Synths start to lead before 3 1/2 minutes. These guys are ripping it up here. "Theme For A Dream" does have a dreamy sound with trumpet leading in a reserved way with outbursts of drums. Raining piano comes and goes as well.

"Gratitiude "A So Low"" is acoustic guitar melodies throughout. "Ism-Ejereicio" is my other top three. It opens fairly powerfully before settling in with drums and guitar. Great sound here. It settles into more of a slow groove after that around 1 1/2 minutes in with some adventerous trumpet over top trading off with the guitar. Nice. The tempo picks up before 3 1/2 minutes as it gets really impressive. "Right On Y'All" ends it opening with drums then the trumpet leads as the piano pulses before an extended synth led section. An energetic track with the guitar leading late.

Another excellent release from Coryell and company and a must listen for Jazz/Fusion fans.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars With 1969's Spaces (released, mysteriously, some 19 months after it was recorded), it felt as if guitarist Larry Coryell might have been a little reluctant to jump fully on board the Power Rock infusion of the Jazz-Rock Fusion movement, but then I'm sure he could see the commercial, critical, and financial success his band mates from that album were having: John McLaughlin and Billy Cobham with the Mahavishnu Orchestra, Miroslav Vitous with Weather Report, and Chick Corea with his Return To Forever project.

Tapping into some of his more adventurous New York City-based friends this was what he came up with. Released in February of 1974.

1. "Birdfingers" (3:07)Alphonse Mouzon gets us started, showing off a little of his skills before the song's swirling melody lines are launched by Larry Coryell and Randy Brecker and, later, Mike Mandel. Man! These guys are all moving!--especially the afore-mentioned trio. Great opener putting it all out there! (9.75/10)

2. "The Funky Waltz" (5:10) using a "Papa Was a Rolling Stone"-like bass and cymbal foundation the synth, trumpet and electric guitar lines established over the top are nice though the weird "fireworks"-like synth flares are pretty annoying. Larry's mute/wah-affected solos in the second and third minutes have the sound that is similar to that of the pedal steel that I hear from Steely Dan guitarist Jeff "Skunk" Baxter on Can't Buy a Thrill or the horns from the Pretzel Logic album. (8.66667/10)

3. "Low-Lee-Tah" (4:17) opening with a reverbed guitar arpeggio display similar to something we all heard on the Mahavishnu albums. The rest of the band slowly joins in, not yet shifting the tempo into anything above first gear but maintaining a great atmosphere of potential energy. Randy Brecker takes the first solo. I wish they had mixed him better: more a part of the song instead of feeling outside of the others. Larry takes the next solo using lots of bending of notes on the fretboards like John McLaughlin does with his special scooped frets for his Indian music. Pretty cool but not perfect. (9/10)

4. "Adam Smasher" (4:30) A bit of a Steely Dan sound to this one with the funk bass and drums and clavinet. Mike Mandel's Fender Rhodes takes the first solo sounding like the next Bob James generation of the Herbie/Chick sound. Randy's solo is interesting for his virtuosic use of the muting device. Larry's solo is next: he's using a wah-pedal/device that gives another shape and sound to his dextrous guitar play. (It almost sounds like the talkbox tube made famous by Peter Frampton.) (8.875/10)

5. "Joy Ride" (6:08) more laid back music that allows more space for the musicians to be heard and appreciated. During the first two minutes as the band establishes the foundations and framework of the song, Larry's guitar playing sounds almost like he's playing an acoustic: so smooth and fluid. Later he gets more aggressive and fiery in his particular way. The keys are particularly noticeable throughout, feeling something between Herbie Hancock and Bob James. I like the picking up of the pace in the fifth minute for the duelling between Larry and the wah-effected ARP and trumpet. Overall, another song that is perhaps a little too simple in its basic construct: like having white bread when you want wheat or rye. (8.75/10)

6. "Yin" (6:03) more power jazz-rock fusion that seems to be trying to sound like Billy-Cobham led Mahavishnu music. I like Larry's abrasive rhythm guitar while supporting Randy Brecker's great first solo. His solo in the third minute over the high-speed rhythm track below is awesome--as is the hard-driving work of bassist Danny Trifan and drummer Mouzon. Perhaps the best song on the album. Randy, Alphonse, and Danny are extraordinary. (9.75/10)

7. "Theme for a Dream" (3:26) slow and dreamy with a bit of a feel of an interlude song from a Broadway musical. The kind of musical landscape that spawned the Easy Listening and Smooth Jazz genres of music. Larry's muted and effected guitar sounds a lot like the virtuosic background guitar play of Steely Dan's great guitarists like Larry Carlton, Jay Graydon, Dean Parks, Hugh McCracken, and Lee Ritenour. It's pretty! (8.875/10)

8. "Gratitude 'A So Low'" (3:21) a solo electric guitar song from Larry. Not very melodic nor even super impressive! (8.666667/10)

9. "Ism - Ejercicio" (3:59) trying to be heavy and ominous, it's just not working: neither the chord progression, low end, or pacing. The bass-and-drum race of the second minute is an odd and not altogether engaging motif, nor is the next heavy, plodding Mahavishnu-like blues-rock motif over which Randy's muting play solo ensues. Then there is the YES- like motif in the final minute in which Alphonse's drumming sounds out of sync with the others. (8.6666667/10)

10. "Right On Y'All" (4:21) a fairly together fast-driving song with more sounds and stylings that remind me of Steely Dan as well as some annoying cowbell, guitar play, and synth noises. (8.75/10)

Total Time 44:22

All of Larry's bandmates are quite competent with drummer Alphonse Mouzon receiving a lot of attention for his dynamic work, but, for me, it is trumpeter Randy Brecker who keeps stealing my attention away from the others--even from Larry himself. I agree with other reviewers that the songwriting on this album seemed to take a back seat to A) fitting into the genre and B) showing off the skills of the individual musicians.

For as talented and skilled as Larry Coryell was, he must have had a stubborn streak running deep inside cuz the dude never quite fit in--never became as famous, always stuck to a very eccentric agenda and style of music--even his guitar sound remained "stuck" inside some kind of dirty, raunchy, macho that sounded as if he had to make more noise than everyone else. Maybe he had some kind of inferiority complex that he was compensating for. Maybe it's because he had to wear glasses. Or because he was from Seattle. But he had cool hair! My point is: the dude never really moved to the front of the class and I think this had a lot to do with his stubbornly eccentric choices: he wanted to be different and he was; it was just not the kind of 'different' that propels one to the top of the charts or in front of sold-out arena- size audiences.

B+/4.5 stars; there are some great, top tier J-R Fuse tunes and performances here--some real highs--but there are also a few duds, making this album as a whole the kind of middle of the road.

Latest members reviews

4 stars The debut and best album by the Eleventh House, a band around Larry Coryell and Alphonse Mouzon, two fusion superstars. Stellar line-up is augmented by Randy Brecker who would only stay for one album. Trumpet, guitar and drums are the most impressive elements of the Eleventh House sound. The al ... (read more)

Report this review (#2546694) | Posted by sgtpepper | Saturday, May 29, 2021 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Larry Coryell stands on equal footing with John McLaughlin as one of the premier jazz fusion guitarist and this probably represents his finest achievement. Many people consider his earlier work with McLaughlin, 'Spaces' as writing the textbook for fusion style guitarwork, but to me, this is his gr ... (read more)

Report this review (#130013) | Posted by wooty | Monday, July 23, 2007 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Larry Coryell & The Eleventh House Introducing The Eleventh House With Larry Coryell represents something quite different when compared to Larry's earlier guitar work. The core of the band (Mouzon, Mandel & Coryell) is set in place for this very experimental record, quite ahead of its time wh ... (read more)

Report this review (#127049) | Posted by vingaton | Thursday, June 28, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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