Larry Coryell
" Coryell "

Issued in 1969 on Vanguard Records (mostly known as a folk label) this was Coryell’s second solo release. “Coryell” has also been decades out-of-print on vinyl, though reissued overseas (several times) on CD, the previously import disc versions have also gone out-of-print, and now fetch large sums of dollars on the Internet. Until now; Real Gone Music recently issued a remastered “Coryell” that contain the original LP liners by Larry’s then wife Linda, along with music journalist Bill Kopp’s updated liners that contain 2016 conversations and quotes from Larry Coryell. Each of the seven original vinyl tracks are included; no bonus tracks. Personnel: Drummer Bernard Purdie on every song, three Bassists: Chuck Rainey, Ron Carter, and Albert Stinson, Organist and Pianist Mike Mandel on one song, and Flutist Jim Pepper (you might recall Pepper’s “Witchi-Tai-To” that Brewer and Shipley had moderate late night FM radio success, Guitarist , Pianist and Singer Coryell plays too.
“Sex” opens the album with Coryell’s unusual vocal style though it is immediately apparent that the band is percolating with Rainey’s popping bass lines and Purdie’s poundings, Coryell’s solo is generational but very tasteful, as are his piano comps. “Beautiful Woman” is as ballad like as you could expect from Coryell, especially during his vocal passages, the tune moderately upshifts into appealing landscapes as Coryell (and Ron Carter’s bass) lead the proceedings with a smart and sparky jam; (*) note how Coryell really lifts off during the outro fade. On the LP version “The Jam with Albert” is an instrumental extravaganza closing side one: It’s rhythmic, melodic, and chaotic in a good way. Purdie’s and Stinson’s bass are not only locked tight, they are intertwined setting the foundation for Coryell’s bombastic rock-jazz guitar explorations that are borderline psychedelic and hypnotic; it’s a killer 9:20 track! “Elementary Guitar Solo #5” originally opened side two’s LP, draws from J.S. Bach’s classical origins. Shortly after the theme is initiated, Rainey, Purdie and Mike Mandel’s piano veer towards improvisational rock, (note Rainey’s bass lines – wow), as Coryell gradually pushes the pedal and accelerates. At the end there is a fitting (second) nod to Bach, too. Julie Coryell’s “No One Really Knows” brings back husband Larry’s singing, but it doesn’t last long with an (instrumental) directional deviation as a nice (somewhat spacey) jam unravels. “Morning Sickness” originates as a fascinating instrumental that finds Rainey and Purdie in familiar surroundings setting their funky and signature styles – becomes unhinged when Coryell rips into another creative guitar solo in tandem with the famous rhythm section. The finale is the second Julie Coryell inclusion, this time instrumentally, it is the first time I noticed Jim Pepper’s flute; “Ah Wuv Ooh” is a very well written well thought out song that is also pretty and bright.
As previously mentioned “Coryell” was Larry’s second solo album from ’69, he went onto releasing upwards of sixty solo albums thereafter and has been featured on numerous sideman projects.
As I was writing this review, the news arrived that Larry Coryell passed in his sleep at seventy-three. The cause of death was annotated as natural causes. Days before his passing Coryell completed two nights at NYC’s Iridium, where there were no noticeable and expected warnings that his end was near. This all makes listening to Coryell’s early recording all the more eerie, as well as reading his recent comments in the updated liners.
I had the good fortune to have seen Larry Coryell perform several times, including near the time of this recording. But I wish I attended the Fillmore East when Coryell opened for Led Zeppelin, a neighborhood buddy (a guy I had respect for his musical intelligence) told me Larry stole the night away from Jimmy Page and company. I think you’ll hear glimpses of what my Fillmore East friend was alluding to on this very welcome re-release. With sadness: I hope you appreciate this album as much as I did. Unfortunately “Coryell” abruptly offers an echoing remembrance of our youthful days – learning about and exploring the great artists of our time.
RIP Mr. Larry Coryell.

For 17 years Bob Putignano has been pivotal with his Sounds of Blue radio show. Hear new Homegrown Sounds of Blue internet radio shows: Previously a contributing editor at Blues Revue, Blueswax, and Goldmine magazines, currently the Music Editor for the Yonkers Tribune & Bob was also the 2003 recipient of the “Keeping the Blues Alive” award (given by the Blues Foundation in Memphis) for his achievements in radio broadcasting. Putignano can be contacted at: