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Guest donald petersen

larry coryell

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i have not seen any discussion on larry coryell around these parts. i have been listening to a lot of his early albums lately. these interest me more than his later more "traditional" albums. i have really been enjoying the album "coryell" even though it has a weird cover of i think larry and his family unclothed in the woods. i have also listened to "lady coryell" "fairyland" "at the village gate" "offering" "the real great escape" "introducing larry coryell and the 11th house" "the restful mind" and "spaces". all these albums are kind of cool but none of them quite do it for me like "coryell" where coryell and bernard purdie (which for some reason seems like an unlikely combination to me) really rock out. i suspect i would like "fairyland" even more if it was out on CD and i did not have to listen to it on scratchy vinyl.

i was wondering how people feel about coryell. listening to an album like "lady coryell" it is obvious he had some interesting ideas and he was an innovator, but i haven't been able to enjoy the albums as much as i would like to. there is a little something missing on all the albums i checked out in my opinion. i have actually enjoyed "the real great escape" a lot more than i thought i would since i have heard this is one of his worst albums. i really like the interaction between coryell and roy haynes on "barefoot boy" but the songs are a little mind numbing in my opinion. ok well just wondering other peoples feelings on larry coryell's contributions to music and what albums people like/dislike. i have to say that though i am a little disappointed in all most of these albums i enjoy them all more than most other music i have heard lately and it is only because of the high standards "coryell" set that i have been a little down on them. one album i really like for some reason which features coryell as a sideman is sonny rollins "don't ask". for some reason this is my favorite sonny rollins albums even though it has two really bad songs on it in "disco monk" and "tai chi". "harlem boys" and "the file" get me going every time though. coryell plays some weird acoustic disco guitar on "the file".

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I had a couple of those LP's when I was in high school in the early 70's. "Coryell", "Fairyland", "Spaces" and possibly a couple of others... I can't remember anymore. :rolleyes: Coryell had a lot of energy, a lot of technique, and a lot of youthful curiosity at the time. I remember liking a cut here and there ("The Jam With Albert" was probably my favorite), but I didn't keep those records for very long. Not really to my taste, especially now, but definitely some "interesting" music. I wonder what Larry himself would have to say about them now...?

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I don't have any of these, don't really know this era too well. I'm sure the music is dated in some ways, but it would still probably be worth checking these out.

I will say that I absolutely love Coryell's work on Gary Burton's album DUSTER (RCA, last reissued in the U.S. by Koch). That one was recorded in 1967, just a couple years before the ones you list. It has one killer line-up: Burton in his early explorative days, Steve Swallow, the great Roy Haynes, and Coryell. The music lives up to the promise. A very early (one of the earliest?) rock-influenced jazz albums, "fusion" for lack of a less pejorative word. It still sounds fresh and exciting, I never tire of hearing it. I have yet to explore the rest of Burton's albums for RCA from around that period, like COUNTRY ROADS AND OTHER PLACES (by which I think Coryell had been replaced by Jerry Hahn), LOFTY FAKE ANAGRAM, and GENUINE TONG FUNERAL, but it's only a matter of time.

I also enjoy what I've heard of Coryell's later albums for Muse in the 80's too, especially SHINING HOUR with Kenny Barron, Buster Williams, and Marvin "Smitty" Smith.

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SPACES was regzrded as a "classic" for some time. Don't know if it still is or not, but it's a killer lineup.

The thing that has always bugged me about Coryell is a lack of discipline in his playing. Maybe discipline's not the right word. "Focus", "center", whatever. The guy's obviously had great chops from the beginning, and spirit to spare, but it seems like he'll just bust loose in a prolonged ejaculation of energy without rhyme or reason at any damn time or place, and that's a quality of his that continues to bug me now that he's gone completely "straight ahead". It's like he's the posterboy for ADD jazz or something.

Still, the cat can play, no doubt about that. I like his work on Chico Hamilton's THE DEALER as well as I do anything. And SPACES, although a WILDLY undisciplined record, is a good portrait of the fusion universe in the moments before the Big Bang - a jazz record of jazz that is obviously fixing to go somewhere else in 3...2...1...

And akanalog, I'm with you about "Harlem Boys" - I once got a speeding ticket because of that song. It was a sunny spring day in the late '70s, about 11 AM, that jam came on the radio (in gloriously scratchy AM monophonic sound out of a (yeah, "A"!) Plymouth Duster dashboard speaker, no less!!!), I was on a downhill stretch of fairly open freeway, and it just got GOOD to me! The officer didn't understand when my answer to his question about why I was speeding was, "Sonny Rollins"....

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I always liked that early Coryell stuff. "Spaces" is definitely a classic in my book.

"Coryell" is not bad, but I really like "At the Village Gate" for some reason. It's really raw and sloppy, but there is a live energy there that appeals to me. Besides, he does a Jack Bruce tune from "Harmony Row" - who would EVER attempt to do that??

"Barefoot Boy" rocks - pure and simple.

I used to really enjoy "Offering", but haven't listened to it in a long time and not sure how well it holds up. I'll have to give it a spin this weekend.

"Equipoise" from 1985 is a surprisingly nice album from a period that I don't usually think about for Coryell. It's a quartet date with Stanley Cowell, Buster Williams and Billy Hart. The title tune is a great cut on ANY Cowell album and they do a nice job on "Joy Spring", too.

Thanks for starting this thread, akanalog!

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I saw the Burton, Coryell, Haynes group play in 1967 in Albany New York at a jazz festival organized by Nick Brignola. It was one of my earliest experiences with live jazz. Loved the playing, I'd never seen anyone like Roy Haynes before and I've been digging him ever since. Hear his Hip Ensemble on my first date with my wife to be in 1975.

Some of my favorite Coryell is Barefoot Boy which does indeed rock-with Haynes as I recall, and Chico Hamilton's The Dealer. I haven't heard Larry much in a long time, first the spiritual thing put me off, and then that 11th House band which I thought was pretty awful. But yes, he's a player of real ability. I wonder if anyone else here ever bought the rock album by the goup he led call The Free Spirits. It was terrible and I don't have it any more.

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I quite like Larry Coryell and have gotten to see him live on three occasions in different settings, all pretty memorable.

Once, he played a solo concert at a small club in Arlington, Texas.

A second time, I saw him at the Time Cafe, playing with a Mingus Big Band offshoot called Five Guitars Play Mingus. His solo on Better Get Hit in Your Soul was thrilling and had all the other guitarists looking on with admiration.

A third time, at the Blue Note, in a double bill with Mark Whitfield. He was really fantastic this evening.

If you prefer the more rock influenced side of his music, I would look for Cause and Effect, with Steve Smith and Tom Coster, from 1998, and Spaces Revisited, from 1997.

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Larry Coryell has certainly covered a lot of musical ground over his career. Among the things I've dug the most are his very early work with my late friend, saxophonist Jim Pepper on several hard-to-find LPs, including Pepper's Pow-Wow (produced by Herbie Mann), and his work with Gary Burton. The earliest recordings with Pepper (Free Spirits) are considered by many to be the genesis of "fusion" as we know it.

"Equipoise from 1985 is a surprisingly nice album from a period that I don't usually think about for Coryell." - BFrank

Agreed.

In a word, to me, Coryell = passion.

P11714X120J.jpg

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In college, we played the grooves off of Herbie Mann's Memphis Underground with Larry Coryell....late 60s. Just caught him in Telluride with a trio...local bassist and at the moment I'm memory lapsing on the drummer (excellent). He played Burton's Good Citizen Swallow from Lofty Fake Anagram ('67) and three or four from his last three releases on HighNote. One beautiful solo Lennon and McCartney piece. If his set wasn't the highlight of the festival, it was damn close. Coryell lives.

pic_coryell.jpg

Edited by RonF

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At the time he first appeared, my attention was elsewhere. About 5 years later when he was "thrust" into my world, his Joan Crawford hair put me off. I hear he's a nice guy. Probably my loss.

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I hear he's a nice guy.

Chuck, Talking to people behind the festival and a limited encounter with Larry, he is most definitely "a nice guy". Uncommonly so.

Ron, I need to check out Larry's work with Jim. I wasn't even aware of their collaberations.

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an album by bob moses called "love animal" was just released on billy martin's (of medeski martin and wood) label, amulet records.

it is from 1967 i think and it features larry coryell and jim pepper.

i bought it and don't really like it.

keith jarrett is also on some cuts playing some saxaphone and piano and steve swallow is on bass.

some of the album is cool but to me it sounds very much of it's time-experimental and playful and ragged but not particularly impressive.

bob moses writes some weird liner notes in which he says he does not consider the music very good, but interesting historically-but that is not why

the liner notes are weird. he seems to be on some weird spiritual trip.

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bob moses writes some weird liner notes in which he says he does not consider the music very good, but interesting historically-but that is not why

the liner notes are weird. he seems to be on some weird spiritual trip.

WEIRD is the operative word here. :D:lol:

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an album by bob moses called "love animal" was just released on billy martin's (of medeski martin and wood) label, amulet records.

it is from 1967 i think and it features larry coryell and jim pepper.

i bought it and don't really like it.

keith jarrett is also on some cuts playing some saxaphone and piano and steve swallow is on bass.

some of the album is cool but to me it sounds very much of it's time-experimental and playful and ragged but not particularly impressive.

bob moses writes some weird liner notes in which he says he does not consider the music very good, but interesting historically-but that is not why

the liner notes are weird.  he seems to be on some weird spiritual trip.

With all due respect, I seriously doubt that Jarrett was playing saxophone on this session, especially in view of who was also present. I don't doubt that it sounds a bit "weird" to some, given the timeframe in which it was "hatched". Yep, there was a lot of "experimental" stuff going on in 1967, musical and otherwise. Hell, I bought my first new car then ... a Saab96 - V4. That wasn't particularly "weird", but some of the music being played in our home and car could have been considered as such. And, many people thought our little car from Sweden looked "weird", too. It was "Made In Trollhatten by Trolls".

The track, Smoke Gets In Your Eyes with Jim Pepper playing tenor, is on a Keith Jarrett boxed set edition which I own. Gorgeous and rare, in my estimation!

I can't address anything with respect to Bobby Moses being on a "spiritual trip".

More info on this session:

LoveA-cover.gif

Recorded between 1967-68 at Vanguard Apostolic Studios in NYC. This was the time of the cult Jazz- Rock band 'The Free Spirits' with Larry Coryell, Jim Pepper, Chris Hills, Columbus Baker and Bob Moses. Moses was 19 years old and this (Love Animal) was supposed to be his first solo album. All this material previously unreleased except track 3. These young musicians were experimenting with powerful drugs and listening passionately to B.B. King, Robert Johnson, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, James Brown, the Beatles, the Stones, Bob Dylan, The Band, Mongo Santamaria, Eddie Palmieri, Ray Baretto, Coltrane, Miles, Mingus, Monk, Bill Evans, Albert Ayler, Ornette Coleman, Eric Dolphy, and many more.

Moses says "The music on Love Animal is raw, messy, over the top and mad eclectic but that was the truth of our lives at that time and tho we jumped musical styles like manic kangeroos, I can honestly say we also routinely pushed and expanded the boundaries of those territories to the limit. I.E. we never played any style in a stock, typical or lackadaisical way.

And there are some great musical moments here, Keith Jarrett's profoundly beautiful solo on "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes", Steve Swallow's rich tone and across-the-bar phrasing on acoustic bass, Coryell's blistering other worldly guitar playing on "Dancing Bears" and for me most of all another chance to hear the great Native American saxophonist Jim Pepper who I believe is one of the most powerful, unique, soulful and under appreciated voices in the history of the music."

Edited by Ron Thorne

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ron, if you purchase this album you will see that in the credits keith jarrett is listed as playing piano on one track and soprano sax on two tracks. why is this so far-fetched?

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some early coryell i heard this weekend that i liked a lot was on steve marcus' "count rocks band" on vortex i think. i believe this is now out on CD combined with marcus' next album, "our lords prayer" but i got the LP. it is a pretty cool album though. there is a song called "ooh baby" that is great-i think bob moses is on the drums, mike nock on piano and chris hills is on bass along with marcus and coryell. i actually am always impressed with steve marcus' playing and think it is a shame he was not heard more throughout the 70s. speaking of that, i could say the same thing for the rest of coryell's steady band in the late 60s and early 70s-mervyn bronson on bass, harry wilkinson on drums and mike mandel on piano-none of these guys were really heard from too much but i think they are all pretty interesting players.

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ron, if you purchase this album you will see that in the credits keith jarrett is listed as playing piano on one track and soprano sax on two tracks. why is this so far-fetched?

My apologies. Since I don't own the album, but knew that Jim Pepper was on the session, I thought perhaps the liner notes were in error.

Sorry.

Well, what do you think of Jarrett's sax chops?

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Well, what do you think of Jarrett's sax chops?

Not as bad as one might think, but he shouldn't give up his day job! :lol:

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As others have mentioned here I love the Spaces album and think it is very underrated and rather singular in that it doesn't fit the usual fusion record at all to me.

Not sure what you mean JSangrey when you call it "wildly undisciplined" - I don't hear that so please clue me in?

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I gave INTRODUCING THE ELEVENTH HOUR a spin the other night after cleaning it with a machine I borrowed from a friend. I like this one quite a bit. Larry's playing is inspired and intriguing, and the supporting cast which include Randy Brecker and Alphonse Mouzon also seem inspired. Bought for less than a dollar on used vinyl, quite a bargain.

I've yet to hear SPACES, I'll have to get it at some point.

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I've got "The Restful Mind" and "Lady Coryell" and like both of them for, I don't know, the way Coryell plays within the distinctive, introspective vibe. "Spaces" seemed to me a kind of supercharged/hypercharged "supersession" and I was never really very keen on it.

Actually, my favourite Coryell record is the one he did with Emily Remler (just the two of them).

Lovely, in my opinion.

Simon Weil

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up....

I just picked up a relatively hard to find 1979 recording from Larry Coryell titled "Tributaries", which is an all acoustic recording, with Coryell, John Scofield, and Joe Beck. Coryell plays 6 & 12 string, while Sco & Beck are both on 6 string guitars. Includes a cover of Bobby Hutcherson's "Little B's Poem" and Coltrane's "Equinox". Very nice recording, which was originally produced by one Michael Cuscuna.

I picked up the Japanese import version of this (from 2004 apparently, a little hard to tell), from Dusty Groove for $12.99. Haven't seen it elsewhere for anywhere near this price...

coryel_larr_tributari_101b.jpg

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The recent Power Trio: Live in Chicago is a very good disc.

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Well..I dugs Spaces and he take on the Rite of Spring is interesting.

But other than that...I don't know. I was never terribly impressed. I'd like to be...I'll keep trying.

up for discussion again.

.

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I'm suprised no one has mentioned "The Gary Burton Quartet in Concert". A terrific live album from the late sixties and the record that Pat Metheny credits with turning him on to jazz.

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