Larry Coryell: Making the Changes
Shortly after our conversation, Coryell takes to the Iridium stage with DeFrancesco and drummer Byron Landham. As he solos over "Au Privave," singing along with his lines, his face breaks out in expressive grimaces and occasional growls of animal pleasure. His playing is a thesaurus of guitar techniques and textures: Wes Montgomery-style thumbed octaves, open-string pedal tones, bell-like false-harmonic arpeggios, searing pentatonic runs, soulful boogaloo vamping, sensitive comping, pithy quotes and trebly surf guitar riffs. On Bobby Timmons' "Moanin,'" his extended solo builds and builds with blazing chops, inspiring the crowd to clap along on the backbeats; for his show-stopping solo acoustic rendition of Ravel's "Bolero," Coryell tunes the bass string to a low D, then unleashes an exhaustive modal exploration, leaving no fret unfingered, evoking shades of Arabic and flamenco melodies, even making a humorous reference to the theme of Star Wars. Occasionally, he tosses his head, waving his silvery mane about as if he's just surprised himself. It's all there in his playing-artistry, passion, surprisesthings that "work."
Chico Hamilton, The Dealer (Impulse, 1966)
Larry Coryell, Spaces (Vanguard, 1970)
Larry Coryell, Barefoot Boy (Flying Dutchman, 1971)
Larry Coryell, Toku Do (Muse, 1987)
Larry Coryell, Monk, Trane, Miles & Me (HighNote, 1998)
Larry Coryell Organ Trio, Impressions: The New York Sessions (Chesky, 2008)