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19.6.12

Larry Coryell



Larry Coryell - Larry Coryell with the Wide Hive Players - 2011 - Wide Hive Records

The last thing you hear on Larry Coryell’s latest is a voice, presumably Coryell’s, saying, “It sounded so great, man, I got spaced out and forgot to look at the music.” This provides a summation of the record that bursts with positive energy. With the Wide Hive Players, which recalls Coryell’s frist Eleventh house record, flirts soul, jazz, r&b and Chicago blues, but its loose approach gives it a jam-band feel. - Downbeat, March 2012

“Larry Coryell with the Wide Hive Players was like liquid honey. The blend of Larry Coryell’s masterful guitar playing and the band’s flavor blended together for a hypnotic listening experience.” - Dana Right, muzicreviews.com

“It’s been a long time since I have liked so much music from an artist I have never heard of. This album is simply brilliant!! The fusion of jazz, soul, rock is seamless. It is as though I am listening to a piece of history. Where have I been? …I consider myself a music aficionado. I am an instant fan. The music is mature…and free. A perfect release!!” - Jerry Henry, UCLA Radio

Now this is what I’m talkin’ about! Beautiful set straight up no filler. Well- rounded, very dynamic, and a great overall listening experience from intro to outro. Nice one to start the day with.” - Heather Trussel, Scion Music Group

“Uuuh Bay Area funk nice one! This is a standard and I mean standard listening. This album rocks the party. Honey Dijon is a nice track, Dream Scene great arrangement. Return of Shirtless was fuuuunky!” - Val de la Roa, Talkin’ Soul

A really old school jam from guitarist Larry Coryell – one that takes us back to some of the most tripped-out sounds of his early years! Given the cover, you can definitely expect a psychedelic influence to the music – and the group here really helps Larry get back to his roots – finding a sound that's still plenty jazz, but which mixes in some funky and progressive elements too – that genre-stepping quality that really helped Coryell break down a lot of barriers back in the day. Coryell plays both acoustic and electric on the date, and the lineup features some especially nice Fender Rhodes – plus trombone, saxes, bass, and plenty of percussion. © 1996-2012, Dusty Groove America, Inc.

Larry Coryell, the ‘Godfather of Fusion (Downbeat), joins forces with the Wide Hive Players for 13 electrifying new tracks. Well-known for his driving tone and intricate flurries, Coryell delivers intense performances atop solid and expansive grooves established by the The Wide Hive Players. Coryell plays a variety of guitars both acoustic and electric including Brownie, an internationally praised acoustic guitar custom made by Ken Parker as well as a 1967 Gibson 335 and a 1973 Fender Stratocaster. Together the Players and Coryell have produced an album that pushes the boundaries of musical genre combining the rhythmic genius of Thomas Cree (Lyrics Born) and Matt Montgomery, Doug Rowan’s (Jazz Mafia) gritty saxophone, Mike Rinta’s (Sly Stone, Santana) bawdy trombone with producer Gregory Howe’s unparalleled ear and Coryell’s improvisational wizardry. Adam Shulman ferries brilliantly between electric piano, B3 organ and a Yamaha C7 piano. Primarily Jazz-Funk, the album also glows with overtones of soul, blues and has a definitive rock undercurrent. Overall the record is timeless and current; both reflective of past craftsmanship while remaining progressive and original. 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 bob 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 lines on an acoustic guitar. © 2011 Wide Hive Records http://www.widehiverecords.com/larry-coryell-with-the-wide-hive-players/

While we’ve talked about a lot of fusion guitarists over the last five years, this is about a new album by the first one. That’s right, though John McLaughlin is widely regarded as the guy who shaped and defined jazz-rock guitar, no one was successfully reconciling the two elements into a coherent, identifiable playing style before Larry Coryell. While only about 21 years old in 1966, he joined the proto-fusion group The Free Spirits (a group drummer Bob Moses was also in). A little later, Coryell was part of a classic Gary Burton’s quartet with Steve Swallow and Moses in 1967-8 that was arguably the first real fusion group, largely because of Coryell himself. As a leader, he made some very fascinating records of his own in the late 60′s and early 70s that got submerged in the tidal wave of rock-jazz started by Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew. Coryell’s best known fusion work came from his ’72-’75 Eleventh House unit that was ironically seen as a follower of Davis and Davis alumni Chick Corea (Return To Forever), Herbie Hancock (Headhunters) and McLaughlin (Mahavishnu Orchestra). So, Coryell kind of got the short shrift in recognition of his contributions to this hybrid genre. There’s probably not as many studio “house” bands as there used to be. Motown (The Funk Brothers), Stax (Booker T. and the MG’s) and Muscle Shoals had them, and Blue Note Records essentially had a core set of musicians who tended to be sidemen on most records made during their classic era. These days, Gregory Howe’s Wide Hive Records of Berkeley, CA has one too, a group of experienced crack session players that includes Josh Jones (percussion), Thomas McCree (drums), Matt Montgomery (bass), Adam Shulman (keys), Mike Rinta (trombone), Doug Rowan (saxes). Somebody came up with the bright idea of putting Coryell together with the Wide Hive Players and the results came out last April 12, titled rather directly, Larry Coryell with the Wide Hive Players. This is a fusion album through and through, but not some watered down, updated version of it; there is nothing on this record that sounds past 1972 on it. Coryell fans might think this is a follow-up to Offering or that first Eleventh House album, and to a large degree it is. Certainly, Coryell is playing like it’s bell bottoms and Watergate all over again. All the earmarks from his signature style from that era are there: those flurries of notes, the stinging single note lines, the full chord growl, and his penchant for squashing or clipping notes, that perfect combination of rough-edged mannerisms and clean virtuosity that he practically invented. And here’s the most important lesson he leaves for budding guitar virtuosos: playing with a lot of soul. Many have ignored that advice, Coryell still lives it. Though he’s the featured star, the backing band plays a major role in shaping the sound. Songs not written by Coryell are written by various band members plus producer Howe, sometimes with Coryell himself. That suggests a collaborative effort. The trombone-sax, electric piano and funky drums doesn’t evoke memories of Eleventh House as it does another jazz-rock band from the same time frame: the Crusaders. These thirteen songs aren’t among the most challenging in Coryell’s discography by a longshot, but most of them have some good melodies going for it that go well above serving as merely launching pad for aimless jamming. There’s not a single clunker track on an album that ranges from good to great, but these four songs sequenced in a row are alone worth the price of the CD: McCree’s “Purdie Shuffle” paces the in-the-pocket vibe of “Return Of Shirtless” (video above) and Coryell deftly manipulates his Gibson ES to wail, roar and plead, working with and around the horn charts like a real pro. This has the real feel of a old fusion classic song. “December Blues” is a straight up blues, but here again Coryell’s guitar makes it into something more than just that, by playing Larry Coryell licks, not copping someone else (and the piano-driven WHP’s give him a good, gutbucket backing). “Moody On My Mind,” presumably a tribute to the just-deceased James Moody, is Coryell overdubbing an acoustic guitar over another, accompanied only by light percussion. It’s light, pretty Latin stylings is a little taste of the his acoustic guitar phase that immediately followed his classic fusion one (the album ender “One For T.G.” is another almost-solo acoustic guitar number). Imagine an instrumental Chicago’s “Only The Beginning” with a funkier backbeat and the bridge swapped out for another and you’ve basically described “Moose Knuckle.” George Brooks makes a cameo here to supply a slippery sax solo and Coryell steps out from behind a soul swaying rhythm guitar to create a sweet ‘n’ sassy solo himself. Coryell has made several returns to his fusion beginnings over the years, but it took this little house band from Berkeley to bring him back with the full-on fire, fury and spirit or those pioneering times. You don’t even have to be a fan of his or a guitar afficionado to dig this disc; anyone who likes that old school funky rock-jazz with a few delectable diversions will find a lot to like about it. The old Larry Coryell, the Father of Fusion Guitar, is back. - Posted by & © S. Victor Aaron © Copyright 2012 — Something Else! Reviews. All Rights Reserved http://somethingelsereviews.com/2011/05/02/larry-coryell-larry-coryell-with-the-wide-hive-players-2011/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+somethingelsereviews%2FJjnG+%28SOMETHING+ELSE%21+REVIEWS%29

After 45 years of making records, Larry Coryell may have just cut his best one ever. Larry Coryell with the Wide Hive Players is a collaboration with this Bay Area-based rhythm and horn section, and the results are astonishing. Throughout the 13 tracks, Coryell raises his freak-flag high and ably resurrects the sound of pre-Mahavishnu fusion with style and precision. The correct elements are here – slightly grungy guitar tones, funky brass arrangements, sexy Fender Rhodes piano licks, and grooves to die for. Atop it all, Coryell jams with joyous abandon, mixing blues, rock, soul, and complex jazz phrases as only an old ’60s master can. No wonder he’s regularly touted as “the godfather of fusion” (if you’re in doubt, listen to landmark jazz-rock LPs like Chico Hamilton’s The Dealer from 1966, or the Free Spirits’ Out of Sight and Sound from ’67). Now, back to the present. Cue up “Terco” for a good example of Coryell’s acid-fusion nirvana. A deep, urban vamp provides the perfect backdrop for him to get funky with badass bends, post-bop phrases, and a not-quite-clean tone that evokes a gritty city scene. “The Last Drop” does what is unthinkable to today’s musicians, but which is to mix horns, Hammond organ, and acoustic guitar in a jazz tune. Larry smokes his solo nevertheless, playing without any trace of post-modern irony; he just delivers a great acoustic improv over an interesting harmonic situation. On “The Return of Shirtless,” the accent is on classic R&B á la Blood, Sweat & Tears or the Electric Flag, with Coryell employing a phase shifter to brilliant effect on a series of nasty solos. And in “Moose Knuckles,” you may think you’ve stumbled over a vintage jam from Terry-Kath-era Chicago or the original Steely Dan lineup – it’s a veritable time machine back to days of taste and tone. After listening to Larry Coryell with the Wide Hive Players a few times, you may smack yourself on the forehead as you realize how hip fusion guitar was before speedsters like John McLaughlin and Al Di Meola cranked it through a Marshall stack. Cut by cut, Coryell reminds us that the genre’s true roots lie in hard bop, blues, ’60s soul, and funk music, not hard rock and prog (the retro typeface and artwork on the cover are no accidents either, allowing us to visually reconnect with old-school fusion in all its trippy, hash-fueled glory). The coup de grâce is that at age 68, Coryell is making some of the most exhilarating, ballsiest music of his career. Hats off, too, to the amazing Wide Hive Players for giving him plenty of room to prove he’s still got it. © Pete Prown Vintage Guitar, August 2011

The Wide Hive Players, a group of talented in-house session players from the Berkeley, CA based label Wide Hive owned by musician/songwriter/producer Gregory Howe back the incredibly talented jazz fusion guitarist Larry Coryell on this progressive and original jazz rock album with shades of funk, indie jazz, soul, and blues. This album has a great '70's fusion flavour with Larry lighting the fuse! HR by A.O.O.F.C. Buy the Wide Hive Players "Players" album, and listen to Larry's brilliant "Spaces" album with John McLaughlin, Billy Cobham, Miroslav Vitous, and Chick Corea [All tracks @ 256 Kbps: File size = 116 Mb]

TRACKS / COMPOSERS

1 Torchlight - Gregory Howe / Matt Montgomery 5:44
2 Cobalt - Larry Coryell / Gregory Howe 1:39
3 Terco - Gregory Howe / Doug Rowan 4:19
4 The Last Drop - Gregory Howe / Matt Montgomery / Mike Rinta 7:04
5 Return of Shirtless - Gregory Howe / Matt Montgomery 4:29
6 December Blues - Larry Coryell / Gregory Howe / Mike Rinta 4:44
7 Moody on My Mind - Larry Coryell 3:13
8 Moose Knuckle - Matt Montgomery / Mike Rinta 5:25
9 Beauty and Failure - Gregory Howe / Matt Montgomery / Mike Rinta 3:53
10 Honey Dijon - Gregory Howe / Matt Montgomery 5:00
11 Tilden - Matt Montgomery / Mike Rinta 7:13
12 Dream Scene - Mike Rinta 4:09
13 One For T.G. - Larry Coryell 6:12

MUSICIANS

Larry Coryell - Electric & Acoustic Guitar
Matt Montgomery, Gary Brown - Bass
Adam Shulman - Piano, Electric Piano, Fender Rhodes, Hammond B3
Thomas McCree - Drums
Josh Jones - Congas, Percussion
Doug Rowan - Saxophone
George Brooks - Saxophone (Soloist)
Mike Rinta - Trombone

6 comments:

A.O.O.F.C said...

LINK

p/w is aoofc

Farmer Allan said...

Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the Larry!

A.O.O.F.C said...

Thanks,Farmer Allan & A.

Anonymous said...

I've been a fan since the days of the Lady Coryell album. Thanks very much for this one!
Zappafan

A.O.O.F.C said...

Thanks,Zappafan. Larry Coryell is in my Top 10 list of greatest guitarists