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Larry Coryell - The Eleventh House: Level One CD (album) cover


Larry Coryell


Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.14 | 28 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
4 stars Second or third album from LC's JR/F group and two major changes between Level One and Introducing; trumpet player Randy Brecker is gone replaced by the less present Michael Lawrence and the bassist slot is now occupied by John Lee. Along with the plain photo montage artwork (look at superstar Alphonse Mouzon's look), the other big change is that Danny Weiss is absent from the production desk. Songwriting-wise, LC practices a certain kind of democracy, Mandel, Mouzon, Lawrence and Lee getting at least one song in, LC only getting in three (on the flipside)

Opening on the title track, the band really seems to literally do that: take you to that first level. Everybody plays in unison and a basic structure. As if on intention the following Other Side, shows exactly that: much more impressive both structurally but virtuosity-minded, the track smokes under your stylus, and you might be tempted to keep your fire-extinguisher at hand. No need though, coz Larry & The Gang go soft (almost limp) with the much less enthralling Diedra. The amusingly titled Some Greasy Stuff gets the Eleventh House right back on track, with plenty of brass, an aerial synth and some gruffy guitars, courtesy of the master of the house. Rounding up the vinyl is the Ultra funky 200 MPH Nyctaphobia (fear of the night), where the average speed can't be controlled by a normal radar, as they approach RTF and MO cruising speed.

Obviously on the flipside, the opening three-movement (just under 6 minutes) Suite is the main attraction, with LC's guitars and Lawrence's trumpet exchanging wild leads. Eyes Of Love is an acoustic solo Coryell piece, which is a bit out of context, especially sandwiched between two scorchers, the aforementioned Suite and the very funky Struttin' With Sunshine, the latter a real wakeup call and paving the way for the closing That's The Joint, another funky piece where Coryell literally smokes his guitar strings red hot over wild brass section interventions. While the album ends fantastically, it leaves you wanting more, because the album's length is a bit on the short side, >> some 31 minutes for an album.

Not quite as successful as Introducing (or even Planet End), this album still holds some very interesting moments and compared to many other JF/F group, The Eleventh House is immediately recognizable, something which would eventually become problematic in years to come in the genre.

Sean Trane | 4/5 |


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