Larry Coryell

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Larry Coryell, WGBH-TV, Boston 1969
By Lee Tanner
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Larry Coryell
By Courtesy of Backbeat Books
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Larry Coryell
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Larry Coryell
By Andrew Lepley
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Larry Coryell
By Andrew Lepley
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Larry Coryell & Chucho Valdes: The two performed together at the opening night of the Havana International jazz Festival. Shows were held in the Teatro Amadeo Roldan Theatre. Valdes is the artistic director for the festival.
By Andrew Lepley
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Larry Coryell at the 2010 Telluride Jazz Celebration
By Greg Aiello
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Joel Thomson (Chancery Cruising AJPAS Host), Tracey Coryell and Larry Coryell on 2010 Jazz Party at Sea
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John McLaughlin, Richie OKon and Larry Coryell at the Blue Note in New York City
By Steve Berman

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As one of the pioneers of jazz-rock -- perhaps the pioneer in the ears of some -- Larry Coryell deserves a special place in the history books. He brought what amounted to a nearly alien sensibility to jazz electric guitar playing in the 1960s, a hard-edged, cutting tone, phrasing and note-bending that owed as much to blues, rock and even country as it did to earlier, smoother bop influences. Yet as a true eclectic, armed with a brilliant technique, he is comfortable in almost every style, covering almost every base from the most decibel-heavy, distortion-laden electric work to the most delicate, soothing, intricate lines on acoustic guitar. Unfortunately, a lot of his most crucial electric work from the '60s and '70s is missing on CD, tied up by the erratic reissue schemes of Vanguard, RCA and other labels, and by jazz-rock's myopically low level of status in the CD era (although that mindset is slowly changing).

Born in Galveston, Texas on April 2, 1943 Coryell grew up in the Seattle, Washington area where his mother introduced him to the piano at the tender age of 4. He switched to guitar and played rock music while in his teens. He didn't consider himself good enough to pursue a music career and studied journalism at The University of Washington while simultaneously taking private guitar lessons. By 1965 he had relocated to New York City and began taking classical guitar lessons which would figure prominently in later stages of his career. Although citing Chet Atkins and Chuck Berry as early influences he also took cues from jazzmen such as John Coltrane and Wes Montgomery. He was also inspired by the popular music of the day by the Beatles, The Byrds and Bob Dylan and worked diligently to meld both rock and jazz stylings into his technique. This was reflected on his debut recording performance on drummer Chico Hamilton's album " The Dealer" where he sounded like chuck Berry at times with his almost distorted "fat" tone. Also in 1966 he formed a psychedelic band called The Free Spirits on which he also sang vocals, played the sitar and did most of the composing. Although conceptually the band's music conformed to the psychedelic formula with titles like "Bad News Cat" and" I'm Gonna Be Free" it foreshadowed jazz rock with more complex soloing by Coryell and Sax/flute player Jim Pepper. However, it wasn't until three years later after apprenticing on albums by Vibraphonist Gary Burton and flutist Herbie Mann and gigging with the likes of Jack Bruce and others that Coryell established his multifarious musical voice, releasing two solo albums which mixed jazz, classical and rock ingredients. In late 1969 he recorded "Spaces", the album for which he is most noted. It was a guitar blow-out which also included John McLaughlin who was also sitting on the fence between rock and jazz at the time and the cogitative result formed what many aficionados consider to be the embryo from which the fusion jazz movement of the 1970s emerged. It contained insane tempos and fiery guitar exchanges which were often beyond category not to mention some innovating acoustic bass work by Miroslav Vitous and power drumming by Billy Cobham both of whom were to make contributions to Jazz rock throughout the `70s.

His career, however, began in era of guitar rock, where he was able to rise for a time with legends such as Jimi Hendrix, Carlos Santana, and Eric Clapton. As this era came to a close, his musical expression took him on a diverse journey, and though he did not receive the level of commercial fame the aformentioned musicians had, he was still able to make his mark in music by way of the jazz & fusion world. His music continues to influence musicians and fans internationally and will continue to do so for a very long time.

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Artist’s website

http://www.larrycoryell.net/

Articles on Larry Coryell

06/27/12    On the Scene with MOJA    By Russ Davis

Preview of 2012 Montreal Jazz Festival

03/22/12    iRockJazz Video    By John Moultrie

Larry Coryell: Advice for Aspiring Artists

10/21/11    News    By Jeff Tamarkin

41st Annual Jazz Seminar and Concert Set for Nov 1-5

08/06/11    Albums    By Steve Greenlee

Larry Coryell With the Wide Hive Players
Larry Coryell

08/06/11    Albums    By Steve Greenlee

Larry Coryell With the Wide Hive Players
Larry Coryell

05/19/11    Albums    By Bill Milkowski

Duality
Larry Coryell and Kenny Drew, Jr.

12/08/10    Photos    By JazzTimes

10th Annual Jazz Party at Sea

10/16/09    News    By Lee Mergner

Legacy of Les Paul Continues at Iridium

November 2007    DVDs    By Bill Meredith

Super Guitar Trio Live at Montreux 1989
Larry Coryell, Al Di Meola & Biréli Lagrène

November 2007    Books    By Bill Meredith

Improvising: My Life In Music
Larry Coryell

November 2007    DVDs    By Bill Meredith

A Retrospective
Larry Coryell

July/August 2007    Features    By Evan Haga

Portraits in Strings

November 2006    Albums    By Terry Perkins

Laid Back and Blues: Live at the Sky Church in Seattle
Larry Coryell

November 2006    Albums    By Terry Perkins

Laid Back and Blues: Live at the Sky Church in Seattle
Larry Coryell

April 2005    Guitartistry    By David R. Adler

A Guitar Supreme
Various Artists

April 2005    Guitartistry    By David R. Adler

A Guitar Supreme
Various Artists

July/August 2004    Albums    By David R. Adler

Tricycles
Larry Coryell

March 2004    Guitartistry    By Jim Ferguson

The Power Trio
Larry Coryell

October 2003    Albums    By Aaron Steinberg

Three Guitars
Larry Coryell/Badi Assad/John Abercrombie

January/February 2003    Guitartistry    By Jim Ferguson

Cedars of Avalon
Larry Coryell

July/August 2001    Albums    By Aaron Steinberg

Count's Jam Band Reunion
Larry Coryell/Steve Smith/Steve Marcus/Kai Eckhardt

November 2000    Albums    By Jim Ferguson

New High
Larry Coryell

October 2000    Albums    By Peter Margasak

Cause and Effect
Larry Coryell/ Tom Coster/ Steve Smith

July/August 1999    Spheres    By Josef Woodard

From the Ashes
Dr. L. Subramanium/Larry Coryell

June 1999    Albums    By Jim Ferguson

Monk, Trane, Miles & Me
Larry Coryell

April 1999    Albums    By Jim Ferguson

Private Concert
Larry Coryell

December 1998    Albums    By Bill Milkowski

Cause and Effect
Larry Coryell/ Tom Coster/ Steve Smith

September 1997    Features    By Mike Joyce

Who's overrated? Who's Underrated?

January/February 1997    Albums    By Jim Ferguson

Sketches of Coryell
Larry Coryell

Albums

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Monk, Trane, Miles & Me

HighNote Records
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Private Concert

Twin Rivers

Sketches of Coryell

Shanachie
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New High

HighNote Records

Inner Urge

HighNote Records
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Count's Jam Band Reunion

Tone Center
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Cedars of Avalon

HighNote Records
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Three Guitars

Chesky Records
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The Power Trio

HighNote Records
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Tricycles

Favored Nations Cool
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From the Ashes

Waterlily Acoustics

Electric

Chesky Records
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Laid Back and Blues: Live at the Sky Church in Seattle

Rhombus
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A Guitar Supreme

Tone Center
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Cause and Effect

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Larry Coryell With the Wide Hive Players

Wide Hive
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