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Murali Coryell: 2120

Hotshot guitarist Murali Coryell flashes some vicious chops on 2120 (Czyz Records CZ-3931-2; 53:41), a solid blues-rock power trio outing featuring Bill Foster on bass and Rod Gross on drums. The son of jazz fusion pioneer Larry Coryell, Murali is yet another “white boy lost in the blues,” to quote the Mose Allison song. With a husky raw-throated vocal delivery, he wails like a love-starved hog on “Louise” and Otis Rush’s “All Your Love,” then conveys the requisite swagger on tunes like “Who Told You” and Willie Dixon’s “Hidden Charms.” Coryell is so confident of his rough-hewn vocal abilities that he even tackles the Marvin Gaye anthem “Sexual Healing,” scoring points for chutzpah and style. His guitar playing throughout has an aggressive, over-the-top edge to it that perfectly suits this earthy music. Highlights include the Elmore James-ish “I Can’t Hold Out” and the Magic Sam flavored workout “All My Whole Life,” both prime examples of his wild abandon on both guitar and vocals, and the soulful slow blues “So Many Roads, So Many Trains.” This fine release is bound to up the ante on Murali’s presence on the contemporary blues scene.

Originally Published