Larry Coryell deserves a special place in the jazz history books. He brought a revolutionary sensibility to electric guitar playing in the 1960s; a hard-edged, cutting tone and phrasing that owed as much to blues, rock, and even country as it did to modern post-bop. A true eclectic blessed with impeccable technique, Larry Coryell always has sought to be himself. It is true that this has taken him all over the musical map, from Ravel to Rimsky-Korsakov to rock; not reflecting an identity crisis but an uninhibited musical appetite appropriate to his era. He has been comfortable in almost every style from decibel-heavy electric work to the most delicate, soothing, intricate lines on acoustic guitar. In between there is finger-spraining, fretboard-busting, pyrotechnic virtuosity. This description only serves to introduce a complex and brilliant player.
Born on the Gulf Coast of Texas and raised in Washington state, Larry’s interest in jazz took hold at the age of four. He began to learn the guitar by studying the recordings by Tal Farlow, Barney Kessel, and Johnny Smith. By 1965, now living in New York, Coryell attracted tremendous attention in local jam sessions. Visionary vibraphonist, Gary Burton, hired Larry at a time when jazz was stagnant and musicians were searching for new inspiration, a different vibe (forgive the pun).
Larry Coryell is a jazz musician with an unfettered commitment to swing. In keeping with this tradition, Coryell surrounds himself on this date with likeminded, crafty professionals. For this date there is Indianapolis bassist Jonathan Wood, and the energetic and awesome Chicago-based drummer, Paul Wertico, who rounds out this outstanding group.