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Fusion guitar god Larry Coryell with a super session in 1972
Born in Galveston, Texas, Larry Coryell tried his hand at a number of instruments before settling on guitar. He cites Chet Atkins, Chuck Berry and later, Wes Montgomery, Barney Kessell and Joe Pass as influences during his early formative years:
Arriving in New York via Seattle in the mid 1960’s, Larry realized that a smooth and formidable instrumental technique was a prerequisite for musical expression. To master every aspect of his chosen instrument, Larry studied classical guitar with Leonid Bolotine while keeping his eyes on the bustling New York jazz scene. After developing his virtuoso technique, Larry felt ready to make his move into jazz and played his first job with “Killer” Joe Piro and soon thereafter, made his first recording with Chico Hamilton and an early fusion band called The Free Spirits. National recognition came to Larry during his tenure with the Gary Burton Quartet in 1967.
The late 60’s and early 70’s saw Larry as one of the most in-demand guitarists, not only in jazz but in all musical genres. It was during this time that Larry released a series of critically acclaimed albums for Vanguard, did some rock experimentation with Steve Marcus, toured with British musicians Jack Bruce and Mitch Mitchell and appeared on the first album by the Jazz Composer’s Orchestra Association. There were sessions with Jimmy Webb, The Fifth Dimension, Charles Mingus, Billy Cobham, Chick Corea, John McLaughlin and Miroslav Vitous. The albums produced at this time show Larry Coryell to be a profound musical prophet, merging jazz, rock, free-form improvisations and Eastern modes and scales in a way that was new at the time and still communicates power and emotion years later.
From 1972 we have some of the earliest sessions with Steve Marcus - tenor saxes; Lawrence Kilian - congas; Roy Haynes - drums; Harry Wilkinson - percussion; Mervin Branson - bass; Michael Mandel - piano.
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