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June 1999

Larry Coryell
Monk, Trane, Miles & Me
HighNote Records

Here one of the main guitarists responsible for putting fusion on the map way back when (in the process earning an early reputation as a musical scofflaw), leads his quintet through a series of standards designed to salute three of his influences.

The opener, "Star Eyes," balances Latin and swing grooves, giving Coryell a chance to nail a series of timeless phrases and sculpt long, graceful double-time lines, as John Hicks provides superb comping on piano. "Fairfield County Blues" is a grooving minor-key workout that makes a nice mate for Coltrane's "Up Against the Wall," a major-key scorcher with Willie Williams on tenor. Both tunes display Coryell's advanced chops and time-honed feel. And the exceptionally laid-back treatment of "All Blues" burns deeply and includes a moaning arco solo by bassist Santi Debriano.

Once a young lion of jazz guitar, Coryell is gradually becoming one of its greatest seasoned veterans, as this material strongly suggests.

Originally published in June 1999
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