Larry Coryell - Fallen Angel - 1993 - CTI Records
On Fallen Angel, Larry Coryell teams up with arranger Don Sebesky to produce a wide-ranging album full of sampled sounds and programmed tracks in an attempt to mix the old CTI sound of the '70s with the production techniques and rhythms of the '90s. "Inner City Blues" kicks things off with great promise, as Coryell jams over a pre-programmed rhythm track with background vocalists. On "(Angel on Sunset) Bumpin' on Sunset," he improvises along with a sampled Wes Montgomery, then turns Erroll Garner's classic "Misty" into a mid-tempo reggae jaunt through which he and pianist Mulgrew Miller travel lightly. The CTI connection is brought to the forefront with a remake of Deodato's "2001" hit called "Thus Spoke Z," on which the famous theme is implied but never stated. Other highlights include a funky, angular tribute called "Monk's Corner," Sebesky's attractive "I Remember Bill" and the solo "Westerly Wind." There are also two pleasant smooth jazz vocal pieces at the front of the album, the beautiful ballad, "Fallen," a duet between vocalists Klyde Jones and Jeanie Bryson, and the funky made-for-radio "Never Never," featuring saxophonist Richard Elliot and a vocal from Ms. Jones. Fallen Angel was obviously an attempt to find Larry Coryell a place on the smooth jazz playlist, a task it didn't really accomplish. While it is not likely to appease those who bemoan the guitarist's failure to live up to his initial promise, it can be enjoyed if taken on its own terms. © Jim Newsom © 2012 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/album/fallen-angel-r193718/review
"Fallen Angel" is a mix of standards like Stardust, Misty, Stella By Starlight plus two original Coryell compositions.You will notice the absence of a rhythm section and in most cases bass, drums and chords are all programmed by CTI house arranger Don Sebesky. Jim Newsom of allmusic.com noted that this album was an attempt to help Larry Coryell achieve a higher profile in commercial mainstream smooth jazz. There are a few guest musicians and vocalists on the album including Jeanie Bryson who sings duet with Klyde Jones on "Fallen". Jeanie notes that "Don Sebesky, who produced and arranged this record, heard me on our New York area jazz station (WBGO), and recruited me to sing the title tune, "Fallen", as a duet with Klyde Jones. The band did several fun gigs around New York City , and Larry was a gas to work with. Don would later involve me in another wonderful , high-profile project". This album has been criticized in many quarters for being too commercial, too "studio manufactured", and lacking the more "serious" jazz guitar side of Larry Coryell that can be heard in albums like "Fairyland" or "Spaces". It's a mistake to be too orthodox in one's views on jazz. "Fallen Angel" was a successful attempt by Larry Coryell to do something "different". It definitely does not fall into the often bland, elevator style smooth jazz genre, and the album is HR by A.O.O.F.C. A review on Amazon says that "Larry Coryell is one of those talented jazz guitarists who can doze on with MOR smooth jazz material for whole albums - truly lazy playing - but then send a shiver down your spine with one blistering track out of the blue, displaying the man's true heritage with the greats and showing just what he's capable of. So it is with Fallen Angel. Although there are a number of prime examples of Coryell's craft on this collection (Angel on Sunset, Pieta, Thus Spoke Z, Stella by Starlight), the best by miles is Monk's Corner. This is a true original - the master extracting a range of grunts, groans, vibratos and impossible notes from his instrument while dueting with Ted Rosenthal's fractured piano melody, while the rhythm section plays an insistent beat to perfection. Glorious playing to extend the art, and a haunting riff to boot. 4.0 out of 5 stars Worth buying for Monk's Corner alone, 4 Feb 2004 By & © Andy Millward (Tiptree, Essex, UK) © 1996-2012, Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates http://www.amazon.co.uk/Fallen-Angel-Larry-Coryell/dp/B00003L2CN" Listen to Larry's incredible playing on his "Monk, 'Trane, Miles & Me" album
TRACKS / COMPOSERS
1 Inner City Blues - James Nyx, Marvin Gaye 3:31
2 Fallen - Lauren Wood 3:45
3 Never Never - Lyrics by Klyde Jones & Music by Don Sebesky 3:34
4 Angel On Sunset - Don Sebesky, Wes Montgomery 5:40
5 Stardust - Hoagy Carmichael, Mitchell Parish 5:55
6 Misty - Erroll Garner 4:32
7 I Remember Bill - Don Sebesky 3:07
8 Pieta - Sergei Rachmaninoff 5:53
9 Thus Spoke Z - Richard Strauss 4:49
10 Stella By Starlight - Ned Washington, Victor Young 4:31
11 Monk's Corner - Don Sebesky, Larry Coryell 6:26
12 Westerly Wind - Larry Coryell 2:04
13 The Moors - Larry Coryell 2:53
Larry Coryell - Electric & Acoustic Guitar
Romero Lubambo - Electric & Acoustic Guitar
Wes Montgomery - Electric Guitar (Sampled) on "Angel On Sunset"
Dori Caymmi - Acoustic Guitar, Vocals
Nico Assumpção - Bass
Luiz Avellar - Keyboards
Don Sebesky, Jamie Lawrence - Synthesizer
Mulgrew Miller - Piano on "Stardust", "Misty", & "Thus Spoke Z"
Ted Rosenthal - Piano on "Pieta", & "Monk's Corner"
Billy Cobham - Drums
Tiao Oliveira, Monica Millet - Percussion
Donald Harrison Alto & Soprano Sax.
Richard Elliot - Tenor Sax. on "Fallen", & "Never Never"
Chris Hunter - Alto Sax. on "Thus Spoke Z"
Márcio Montarroyos - Trumpet
Klyde Jones - Vocals on "Inner City Blues", "Fallen", & "Never Never"
Jeanie Bryson - Vocals on "Fallen"
ABOUT LARRY CORYELL
As one of the pioneers of jazz-rock -- perhaps the pioneer in the ears of some -- Larry Coryell deserves a special place in the history books. He brought what amounted to a nearly alien sensibility to jazz electric guitar playing in the 1960s, a hard-edged, cutting tone, phrasing and note-bending that owed as much to blues, rock and even country as it did to earlier, smoother bop influences. Yet as a true eclectic, armed with a brilliant technique, he is comfortable in almost every style, covering almost every base from the most decibel-heavy, distortion-laden electric work to the most delicate, soothing, intricate lines on acoustic guitar. Unfortunately, a lot of his most crucial electric work from the '60s and '70s is missing on CD, tied up by the erratic reissue schemes of Vanguard, RCA and other labels, and by jazz-rock's myopically low level of status in the CD era (although that mindset is slowly changing). According to Coryell, his interest in jazz took hold at the age of four, and after his family moved from Galveston to the state of Washington three years later, he began to learn the guitar, studying records by Tal Farlow, Barney Kessel and Johnny Smith. As a teenager, he played in a band led by pianist Mike Mandel, and by 1965, he gave up his journalism studies at the University of Washington in order to try his luck in New York as a musician. Before the year was out, he attracted much attention jamming in Greenwich Village and replaced Gabor Szabo in Chico Hamilton's band. In 1966, he made a startling recorded debut on Hamilton's The Dealer album, where his blues and rock ideas came to the fore, and that year, he also played with a proto-jazz-rock band, the Free Spirits. Coryell's name spread even further in 1967-68 when he played with Gary Burton's combo, and he was one of the most prominent solo voices on Herbie Mann's popular Memphis Underground album (recorded in 1968). He, Mandel and Steve Marcus formed a group called Foreplay in 1969 (no relation to today's Fourplay), and by 1973, this became the core of the jazz-rock band Eleventh House, which after a promising start ran aground with a string of albums of variable quality. In 1975, Coryell pulled the plug, concentrating on acoustic guitar and turning in a prolific series of duo and trio sessions with the likes of Philip Catherine, Emily Remler, John Scofield, Joe Beck, Steve Khan and John McLaughlin. In the mid-'80s, Coryell toured with McLaughlin and Paco DeLucia, and in 1986 participated in a five-way guitar session with his old idol Farlow, Scofield, Larry Carlton and John Abercrombie for the Jazzvisions series. Coryell has also recorded with Stephane Grappelli, Charles Mingus, Sonny Rollins and Kenny Barron, and has taped Brazilian music with Dori Caymmi for CTI, mainstream jazz for Muse, solo guitar for Shanachie and Acoustic Music, and (for Nippon Phonogram in Japan) an album of classical transcriptions of music by Stravinsky and Rimsky-Korsakov. In other words, Coryell will probably remain as eclectic as ever throughout his career, which will no doubt make life difficult for musicologists with a yen for pigeonholing. Coryell's career in the 21st century has been just as active. 2004 saw the release of Tricycles, an excellent trio date with drummer Paul Wertico and bassist Mark Egan. Electric from 2005 found Coryell playing jazz standards and rock anthems with Lenny White on drums and Victor Bailey on electric bass. In 2006, he released the performance album Laid Back & Blues: Live at the Sky Church in Seattle. © Richard S. Ginell © 2011 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/artist/larry-coryell-p6340/biography