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Larry Coryell - Larry Coryell & Emily Remler: Together CD (album) cover


Larry Coryell


Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.75 | 3 ratings

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5 stars This was a very special partnership. One that was almost inevitable. Although I had never heard of Emily Remler when " Together ''came out in August of '85, I snapped it up because it had Larry's name attached to it. A lady jazz player? This I had to hear. By this time, Emily Remler at the age of 28, had recorded 3 solo albums and was already running with big dogs including jazz guitar legend Herb Ellis who was one of her early mentors. Larry Coryell who really needs no introduction was a legend in his own right having played with just about everyone who mattered in the world of jazz from Chartrles Mingus to John McLaughlin

What is so notable about '' Together '' is that the two individual vituosos are a generation apart ( Coryell was 42 ) and yet this isn't even slightly noiceable so mature was Remleer's playing at her young age. It is very obvious though that this was a learning experience for both. The genesis of this affiliation had it's seed in a series of impromptu gigs in a Charlottesville, Virginia student hangout where they would jam with locall musicians arriving unanounced. This would elicit comments such as, '' Not bad for a couple of locals ! ''.

Both were veryy similar yet disimilar at the same time. Both had similar beginnings in that they both started out on instruments other than the guitar and both started out playing straight rock 'n roll and became progressively more adventurous. Coryell was spawned on the stylings Beatles and Dylan which he melded into a fusion style on his 1967 album with '' The Free Spirits, Out Of Sight And Sound '', arguably the first jazz/rock fusion album. Remler started out emulating the sounds of Led Zeppelin, Clapton and the Stones but gradually became more interrested in the tonal complexities of East Indian music most notably Ravi Shankar. She also explored Brazilian rythmns before graduating from the Berkley Scool Of Music at the very young age of 18 ! Coryell was literally all over the musical map while Remler took a more traditional approach embracing phraseologies of Wes Montgomery, Charlie Christian and Pat Metheney among others..

'' Together'' is is mostly an electric album that features only the two Coryell penned tracks ( Six Beats, Six Strings and Arubian nights ) on 6 and 12 string acoustic guitars respectively. One of the beautiful things about the album is trying to figure out who is playing what and when. But sometimes it is more than obvious especially when Remler is playing the melody. Her smoother more rythmic approach is the polar opposite of Coryell's more abrasive right hand attacks but it works man! Don't expect anything like the Coryell / Philip Catherine or Coryell / Steve Kahn alliances from the late seventies where it was virtuall y impossible for the untrained ear to figure out who was who.

Women in jazz even at this point in the mid 1980s were more or less known as vocalists but by this time Remler had progressed from a novelty to a guitar force in the jazz world. I think she even steals the show somewhat on pieces such as the jazz waltz How My Heart Sings a bit of an upbeat version of the Earl Zundras standard, made popular to Jazz affivionados in the early sixties by pianist Bill Evans.This is not to say that Coryell ever gets left in the dust as he constantly adapts to her rather more lyrical phrasings although he does go off the deep end sometimes especially on his two compositions Arubian Nights anfd Six Beats, Six Strings the latter of which features a spooky solo, a wonderful contrast all the same.

The stand out track is without a doubt is the Antonia Carlos Jobin Bossa Nova How Insensitive ( almost certainly Remler's idea ) which is saved for the end of the 45 minute work. But I digress. The whole album in all it's differenrt moods is absolutely hypnotic. One of the suprises was the 1934 bluesy standard Ill Wind which was previously performed by such greats as Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn and even old blue eyes Frank Sinatra. Here we get an exquisite instrumental version played on Gibson electric hollow bodies. Another track that showcases Remler' s penchant for two tone rythmns is the Pat Martino' standard Gerri's Blues. Remler also gets to swing it out on Joy Spring a Joe Pass fave from the sixties.

One of my favourite jazz albums ever that not only introduced me to the brilliant musicianship of Emily Remler who left this Earth way to early at the young age of 32.It also showcases Coryell at the top of his game. It seems that he goes through some sort of strange metamorphosis when paired with another guitarist or guitarists and '' Together '' is no exception. Positively one of the most expressive jazz recordings to emerge from the 1980s. Unfortunately original vinyl specimens are rather pricey. I saw a Japaneese picture dis pressing going for $ 80 on eBay. Anorther anecdote to this remarkable recording is that they toured together for the last half of 1985 and a few bootleg recordings surfaced not only highlighting tracks from the album but other interpretations of standards and originals. The only sad ending to this affiliation was that it was a one off and I'm sure the partnership would have rekindled itself had it not been for emily's untimely death.

Absolutely essential listening for every jazz guitar head. A real jewel. 5 stars, what else?

Vibrationbaby | 5/5 |


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