Monday, January 1, 2018

In Memoriam: Larry Coryell

purchase [Eleventh House Level One]

passed away Feb 19, 2017
Andy LaRayGun may not have known his was to be the last post of the 2017 <season>, but it ended up being a nice transition to the new theme. He's so right - so many musicians now gone, but their music goes on. That's the cool thing about recording music - it hangs on after they've hung it up.

I "turned on" to Larry Coryell back about '73. At about that time, I was listening to Mahavishnu John and a fair amount of most anything that came out of the ECM label. Within a short time, I had added Steely Dan. At one point, I must have had about half a dozen Coryell 33 albums -the man managed to put out nigh on 100 in his life-time!

Back in about '76, when I was spinning 33's at WQFS,  Coryell was in my regular playlist: I was bridging the line between more pop-jazz oriented music like Steely Dan (someone else may take on Walter Becker, RIP 2017) and musicians like Coryell and Mahavishnu John, who were [at that time] skirting the edges of popularity. Sad to say that we lost 2 of them in 2017: Walter Becker of Steely Dan and Larry "Maestro" Coryell.

Now... Steely Dan appears to be in a different couloir - ECM, John McLaughlin and Coryell are pretty solidly Jazz. Steely Dan ends up more frequently in the pop charts. However, for my likings, Steely Dan  [lightly] pushed the I-IV-V format far enough to the jazz edge to also turn me on. 

Coryell, however, was on the fringes of what most people would listen to - known, but outre. Harmonic but vaguely dissonant. Jazz but then again with a scent of pop - if you made it that far.
There's a lot to Coryell's oeuvre: myself, it was the Eleventh House collection that meant the most, but that's highly subjective - most anything he did is full of class.

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