Saturday, February 23, 2013

Larry Coryell

One fine summer evening many years ago, I paid a call on a young lady.  James Taylor was scheduled to perform in Memphis and she graciously agreed to accompany me to that event.  Taylor was splendid.  His encore was ‘Fire and Rain’.  She grabbed my arm as he began to sing.  More than thirty years and two splendid children later, she is still holding on.  God has been good to me. 
As it so happens, Taylor’s warm up act was Larry Coryell.  I was already a big fan of that jazz guitar master.  Listening to him up on the stage all by himself was a special treat, even if I hadn’t been holding on to the love of my life. 
I just downloaded a recent Coryell album: Monk, Trane, Miles, & Me.  It’s very different from the Coryell recordings I listened to back then.  He was big into solo and duo music.  I have an LP of his with Philip Catherine that I wish I could get on my iPod.  The recent album is much more traditional.  The small group form continues its gravitational pull.  Here is the lineup:
  1.     Bass – Santi Debriano
  2.     Drums – Yoron Israel
  3.     Guitar – Larry Coryell
  4.     Piano – John Hicks (tracks: 1, 4, 5, 7)
  5.     Saxophone [Tenor] – Willie Williams (tracks: 3, 6)
I am playing the Monk piece ‘Trinkle Tinkle’ and 'All Blues'.  This is quite convincing.  Coryell is a real jazz story.  Give this one a few of your hard earned dollars.  The investment will pay off. 

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