Tuesday, September 29, 2015

CD Review: Jazz Guitarist Larry Coryell Gets Boxed Up With Three New Live Releases

American jazz fusion guitarist Larry Coryell has had an amazing career that has lasted over 50 years. Beginning in New York City in 1965 as a member of Chico Hamilton's Quintet, Coryell honed his skills until he released his first solo album in 1968 ("Lady Coryell"). He has played alongside such jazz greats as Chic Corea and John McLaughlin and has released over 60 jazz albums. His latest release is a 3CD box set of unreleased live recordings made between 1972 to 2002, entitled "Aurora Coryellis."
 
The first disc is a live recording from The Jazz Worksop in Boston in 1972. The energy is ever-present as Coryell sounds more like a progressive rock musician, than a jazz guitarist. Coryell and his band put on an amazing display of jazz music with two 13-minute numbers ("Offering" and "Scotland Part One") bookending the complete 5-song, 42-minute performance.
 
The second disc is a little more intimate as Coryell performs acoustically at Clark University in Worcester, MA in 1976. The twelve track performance begins with the quietly exciting eight-minute "Julie La Belle," before Coryell amazes with his speed and skill with "Juju." Coryell does a masterful job keeping the musical notes enticing and wonderful to listen to this recording, which makes you feel like one of the audience on that special night. He puts a little scat singing in the bluesy jazz delivery of "Ain't It Is," before closing the night with nine-plus minute adventure of "St. Gallen" and the flamenco styling of "Spain."
 
The third disc brings Coryell back together with his band, performing at the 2002 San Jose Jazz Festival. He is joined in this performance by Jeff Chambers on bass and Paul Wertico on drums. His timeless delivery of "Trinkle Trinkle" starts things off on an energetic note as you can feel the fun that the musicians are having with one another. The up-tempo performance comes to a halt for the heartfelt rendition of "In A Sentimental Mood," but picks the pace back up with the nine-minute "Space Revisited Part One," before closing the show with an excerpt from "The Dragon Gate." The box set was released on September 4th through Purple Pyrimid. To find more about "Aurora Coryellis," please visit glassonyonpr.com.

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