Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Larry Coryell - 1993 "Fallen Angel"

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.

Tracks Listing

1. Inner City Blues (3:31)
2. Fallen (3:45)
3. Never Never (3:34)
4. Angel On Sunset (5:40)
5. Stardust (5:55)
6. Misty (4:32)
7. I Remember Bill (3:07)
8. Pieta (5:53)
9. Thus Spoke Z (4:49)
10. Stella By Starlight (4:31)
11. Monk's Corner (6:26)
12. Westerly Wind (2:04)
13. The Moors (2:53)

Total time 56:40

Line-up / Musicians

- Larry Coryell / electric guitar

With:
- Jeanie Bryson / vocals (2)
- Klyde Jones / vocals (1-3)
- Wes Montgomery / guitar (4)
- Mulgrew Miller / piano (5,6,9)
- Ted Rosenthal / piano (8,11)
- Jamie Laurence / synth programming
- Don Sebesky / synth (?), musical director, arrangements
- Richard Elliot / tenor saxophone (2,3)
- Chris Hunter / alto saxophone (9)

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Chick Corea & Gary Burton - 1973 "Crystal Silence"

Crystal Silence is an album by Chick Corea and Gary Burton. It was recorded in November 1972 and produced by Manfred Eicher for ECM Records. Their collaboration went further in 1979 with the albums Duet and In Concert, Zürich, October 28, 1979, also on ECM Records. Nearly 30 years later they followed up again with The New Crystal Silence in 2008, this time on Concord Records.

For Crystal Silence, the first of several partnerships between Chick Corea and vibraphonist Gary Burton in the 1970s, the two musicians selected an interesting array of material. The compositions on this record are all modern ones, either by Steve Swallow, Mike Gibbs, or Corea himself. It is a mostly downtempo affair, which allows each player to stretch out and play highly melodic solos over the often difficult changes. In keeping with most ECM releases, there is a distinct presence of European elements to the improvisations. There are few overt blues or bebop phrases, Corea and Burton opting instead for modern melodies to fuel their improvisations. Burton has managed to internalize the Spanish and modal implications of Corea's tunes with little difficulty, and solos with joyful ease through such tracks as "Señor Mouse." Corea himself is absolutely burning. His solo contribution on the same track is both fiery and introspective, combining in one statement the poles for which he is best-known. The title track is also the centerpiece of the album, a nine-minute exploration of the Corea ballad that first appeared on his Return to Forever record in 1972. In keeping with the tradition of the great masters of the ballad form, time seems to disappear as Burton and Corea lovingly caress the song's simple melody and dance effortlessly around the chords, building intensity only to let it subside once more. Crystal Silence is a sublime indication of what two master improvisers can do given quality raw material, with the first side of this record being particularly flawless. Improvised music is rarely this coherent and melodic. Essential for fans of Corea, Burton, or jazz in general.

This is the original killer collaboration between Chick Corea on grand piano and Gary Burton on vibraphone. Chillout music before it was called chillout. Make no mistake though, it's not limp, tame smooth jazz aka muzak. They play a couple of tunes from Chick's originals done by Return To Forever lineup, a couple of Gary's, some co-written, and some written by Chick with then prominent bassist Steve Swallow.

This is an essential album for any serious jazz collection.


While I have had several albums by Chick Corea for over 30 years starting with "Return to Forever", I never heard about this album until Pat Metheny mentioned it in an interview. Remarkably this album was issued the same year as "Return to Forever" (1972) which may be why it never made it to the surface for many of us.

This is a transcendent piece of music. There are many levels of melody created by enormous virtuosity of two musicians feeding off each other in an amazing interplay. The sound is excellent and the recording has plainly been remastered by someone who really knew that they were doing. Played in a dark room with good headphones it takes you places that you want to return to regularly. How I missed it all of these years I don't know but thank you Pat Metheny.


You can't do better in the new age world than 500 Miles High and the title piece. Chick can play Mozart with aplomb, and the techniques of improv on the 25th piano concerto are echoes here in post-classical harmonies and an occasional 12-tone scale. The album is a classic of its genre.

I could never say enough about this CD. When it first came out, it was never off my turntable. The songs are great... top notch Chick Corea originals. And as far as I know there has never been a piano/vibes duo that played so well together. Sometimes it almost feels like it's one instrument. Corea and Burton are just the best in the business. This might very well be in my all time greatest jazz albums list. Buy it!

I was very much surprised, to say the least, when I discovered, that this work-of-art was available, through Amamzon, and I decided, that I had to have it. I first this on vinyl, close to 31 years ago. I was already facinated, the sounds of Chick Corea, and coupled with the expertise "Vibe virtuoso," Gary Burton, I was completely sold. If you enjoy listening to the sounds of jazz/fusion music, then this CD, should be in your collection! Thank you Chick & Gary!

I was fortunate enough, many years ago to be in NYC during the Jazz festival time. We had tickets one night to a show featuring the Woody Herman Big Band, then Chick Corea with the MusicMagic line-up. Anyway, there was an hour delay in setting up Chick after Woody that had an unbelievable resolution. Gary Burton was there, and he & Chick played basically the entire Crystal Silence album on stage while they set-up Chick Corea's band.

This is an unbeleivable album, probably one of my top five all time albums of any genre. It's also an amazing album for any aspiring drumkit player to practice with.


Track listing

    "Señor Mouse" (Chick Corea) - 6:20
    "Arise, Her Eyes" (Steve Swallow) - 5:08
    "I'm Your Pal" (Steve Swallow) - 4:02
    "Desert Air" (Chick Corea) - 6:26
    "Crystal Silence" (Chick Corea) - 9:05
    "Falling Grace" (Steve Swallow) - 2:42
    "Feelings And Things" (Mike Gibbs) - 4:46
    "Children's Song" (Chick Corea) - 2:11
    "What Game Shall We Play Today" (Chick Corea) - 3:46

Personnel

    Chick Corea – piano
    Gary Burton – vibraphone 
 
 
 
 
 

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Larry Coryell - 1993 "Bolero"

This is one of the most spectacular collections of high-quality, virtuoso acoustic guitar playing ever released. With Larry Coryell, the soul of the music NEVER gets lost in the technique and there is no better demonstration of Coryell at his best than this record. Coryell's musicianship, at this point in his career, was at an extremely high level and some of these tunes may take some extra listening to fully appreciate; but once you get used to them, you can't get enough.
The legendary versions of "Something for Wolfgang Amadeus," (first published in Guitar Player in the '70s) and "Improvisation on Bolero" are here, as well as "Elegancia Del Sol," Larry's sensational tribute to flamenco-master Paco De Lucia, the gorgeous French impressionist meditation "La Pluie," the Django Reinhardt style "Waltz No.6," and a whole bunch of fantastic blues and rock inspired pieces. There's also Brian Keane's "A Piece for Larry," (which Larry himself found too difficult to play) one of the most complicated and beautiful acoustic guitar pieces I've ever heard.
If you're a fan of great guitar playing and don't already own this CD, you are suffering a SERIOUS lack; hurry up and buy this right now before your musical tastes atrophy. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.


Larry is truly an underated jazz giant. Saw him recently and Bolero on six string solo was truly amazing. Bolero is a virtuoso masterpiece. 

When I asked Larry Coryell what CD "Bolero" was on after his blistering set at the Tin Angel in Philadelphia he looked slightly perturbed by my question and answered "Bolero." I ordered the CD based on the performance of that one piece. The Bolero I heard that night was a little different than the one on the CD. It had a distinctly Indian flavor as if had been filtered through a Pakistani deli. I was blown away by the piece in concert and waited with baited breath for the CD to arrive. I was not disappointed. "Bolero" is arguably the finest collection of virtuoso acoustic guitar wizardry I have ever heard. Stylistically the CD veers between classical, jazz, flamenco and fusion with elements of rock. Despite this melting pot of influences, all the tracks mesh together seamlessly. The spirit of the music is positive, warm, upbeat and blissful. It would be the perfect CD to listen to while sitting on a beach watching the waves roll in. It gets played more than most of the CDS in my collection of over 600. I recommend it highly!

If you like acoustic guitar playing of the highest caliber, look no further. You've never heard playing like this...everything is played only as good as it has to be and left to breath. From flamenco influenced burners like "Elegancia del Sol" to wonderfully eccentric classical improvisations, everything on this record is a connoisseur's special yet accessible to all who can hear.  

Among the most flexible of jazz guitarists, Larry Coryell performs ten unaccompanied and largely acoustic solos and plays four duets with fellow guitarist Brian Keane (who has "A Piece for Larry" to himself). The intimate selections often come across as improvised classical music (although all but a couple of Ravel themes were composed by one of the two guitarists), with Coryell emphasizing the beauty of his tone and the melodic side of his style. This CD reissue was originally issued by the German String label. 

 Track Listings

  1. Improvisation On 'Bolero'
  2. Nothing Is Forever
  3. Something For Wolfgang Amadeus
  4. Prld from 'Tombeau De Couperin'
  5. Elegancia Del Sol
  6. Fancy Frogs
  7. 6 Watch Hill Road
  8. Blues In Madrid
  9. Motel Time
  10. At The Airport
  11. Brazilla
  12. A Piece For Larry
  13. La Pluie
  14. Waltz No.6
  15. Patty's Song
 

Personnel:

Larry Coryell - Guitar
Brian Keane - Guitar 

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Cornell Dupree - 1993 "Child's Play"

Cornell Luther Dupree (December 19, 1942 – May 8, 2011[1]) was an American jazz and R&B guitarist. He worked at various times with Bill Withers, Donny Hathaway, King Curtis and Steve Gadd, appeared on David Letterman,[2] and wrote a book on soul and blues guitar: Rhythm and Blues Guitar. He reportedly recorded on 2,500 sessions.

Dupree was born and raised in Fort Worth, Texas, where he graduated from I.M. Terrell High School. Dupree began his career playing in the Atlantic Records studio band, recording on albums by Aretha Franklin (Aretha Live at Fillmore West) and King Curtis as a member of Curtis's band "The King Pins" (having grown up with King Curtis in Fort Worth). He appeared on the 1969 Lena Horne and Gábor Szabó recording, and on recordings with Archie Shepp, Grover Washington, Jr., Snooky Young and Miles Davis.
He was a founding member of the band Stuff, which featured fellow guitarist Eric Gale, Richard Tee on keyboards, Steve Gadd and Chris Parker on drums, and Gordon Edwards on bass. Dupree and Tee recorded together on many occasions. Notable albums include the aforementioned Aretha and King Curtis records, plus Joe Cocker's Stingray and Luxury You Can Afford, plus Cornell's solo albums Teasin', Saturday Night Fever (instrumental), Shadow Dancing, Can't Get Through, Coast to Coast, Uncle Funky, Child's Play, Bop 'n' Blues, and Unstuffed. He played on Brook Benton's "Rainy Night in Georgia" and "Please Send Me Someone to Love", and is featured on two tracks of Peter Wolf's 1998 album, Fool's Parade. He is also known for playing the opening guitar riff on Aretha Franklin's "Respect".
In December 1972, the UK music magazine, NME, reported that Dupree, along with Roberta Flack and Jerry Jemmott, had been injured in an auto accident in Manhattan.
In later years, Dupree used a Fender "red-knob" Twin Reverb and played a Yamaha signature guitar called the Dupree Super Jam (it used to be a model similar to the SJ-550 HM, but now is closer to a three-pickup Pacifica with a maple neck).
In 1989, Cornell recorded a video for Arlen Roth's Hot Licks called R&B Guitar, which documented his style, technique and influences. In 2009, Dupree appeared in a documentary entitled Still Bill, which chronicled the life and times of Bill Withers. He appeared on stage playing a guitar-led version of Grandma's Hands. Bill Withers, at first, was sitting in the audience, but ended up joining him on stage to sing the lyrics to the song. In this part of the documentary, Dupree played his guitar on a stool, breathing using an oxygen machine, which foretold his suffering from emphysema.
Dupree died on May 8, 2011 at his home in Fort Worth, Texas. He had been waiting for a lung transplant as a result of suffering from emphysema.

Tracklist:

1     Bumpin'     4:37
2     Short Stuff     4:01
3     Putt's Pub     5:17
4     For Blue's Sake     5:32
5     Child's Play     4:32
6     Smooth Sailin'     4:37
7     Ramona     5:08
8     Just What You Need     4:20
9     Mr. Bojangles     7:03

Personnel:

    Guitar, Producer – Cornell Dupree
    Alto Saxophone – Steve Greenfield
    Arranged By [Horns] – Richard Tee
    Bass – Will Lee
    Drums, Percussion – Eric Parker
    Flugelhorn – Randy Brecker
    Piano – Paul Shaffer
    Piano, Organ – Mitch Margold
    Tenor Saxophone – Scott Kreitzer
    Trombone – Randy Andos
    Trumpet – Barry Danielian

Larry Coryell - 1992 "Live From Bahia"

Nice Afro-Latin set with Coryell on acoustic guitar, recorded in Bahia. The assembled cast includes drummer Billy Cobham, alto saxophonist Donald Harrison, and several Brazilian musicians, notably vocalist Dori Caymmi. All Music.

1994 was a sad year to for Brazil with loss of two great men Jobim and Senna. This album on the other hand is a great gift from Brazil that cheers us up just after these events. It is always like this in Brazil, sad days followed by happy ones again and again, there is no other choice, it is a great ability of Brazilians to rejoice. This album reminds of a timeless Bahia, Salvador where sandy beaches and mulattos and cervejinhas and sun is eternal. You can feel these at your home, wherever you are, just by listening and occasionally gazing the album cover..

A previous poster / reviewer denigrated this fine CD release as pleasant mood music. What is wrong with that? What is wrong with progressive, melodic, and harmonic music? Is noise and dissonance the valued demanded sound?

The interplay of all concerned executants is great, conveying spirited fun. Dori Caymmi on vocals adds an element of exalted tinge of Brazilian flair.

The music within, played by some of the finest Jazz musicians around; Larry Coryell, guitar, Donald Harrison, sax, Marcio Montorroyos, fluglehorn, Billy Cobham, drums, Nico Assumpção, bass, assertively melds to form the fusion of Jazz and Brazilian flavors--guides the listener to a fine place, a fun place.

A perfectly fine CTI records compact disc of Jazz music that ironically enriches the reality and duality [of the release] in that, it is pleasant mood music. It is music that places one on the portico as seen on the video release, dancing and swaying to the music.


Two years before the release of Paul Simon's GRACELAND and the accompanying increase in awareness of world music, Larry Coryell travelled to Brazil and created this low-key recording in Brazil, which features many native performers--including vocalist Dori Caymmi who is featured on several cuts. Coryell is backed by a 9-piece band, including drummer Billy Cobham (who worked with Miles Davis and John McLaughlin) and saxophonist Donald Harrison, who should have gotten co-billing on this CD in that he has has many solos as Coryell himself. Overall, this is a fairly laid back affair. Coryell does a nice job of blending the local musical influences.
HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER.

If you like Brazilian Jazz this is a great CD to listen to. And if you also like Coryell - this is one of his most consistent and well done recordings! A++ The Video of the live concert version is also a must to have! .

Tracks Listing

1.The Harbor (5:41)
2. Old City new City (4:48)
3. The Crab Peddler (3:42)
4. Oshum, Goddess Of Love (4:09)
5. Bloco Loco (7:08)
6. Panama (3:37)
7. Bahian Night Walk (10:13)
8. Gabriela's Song (3:00)
9. Vera Cruz (9:01)

Total Time 51:18

Line-up / Musicians

- Larry Coryell / acoustic and electric guitars
- Dori Caymmi / acoustic guitar and vocals
- Romero Lubambo / acoustic and electric guitar
- Billy Cobham / drums
- Donald Harrison / soprano and alto sax
- Marcio Montarroyos / trumpet
- Luiz Avellar / keyboards
- Nico Assumpcao / electric bass
- Monica Millet / percussion
- Tiao Oliveira / percussion
- Bashiri Johnson / additional percussion
- Francisco Centeno / additional electric bass 

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Pat Martino - 1972 [1997] "Footprints"

Originally released by Cobblestone and later by Muse, this 1997 CD reissue from 32 Jazz features the distinctive and exploratory guitarist Pat Martino in a tribute to Wes Montgomery. Martino does not attempt to sound like Wes (although he uses octaves here and there), and only one of the six selections ("Road Song") was actually recorded by Montgomery; the tribute is more heartfelt than imitative. With the intuitive assistance of rhythm guitarist Bobby Rose, bassist Richard Davis, and drummer Billy Higgins, Martino stretches out on six selections, including a bluesy original ("The Visit"), "Footprints," and "Alone Together," always sounding like himself and pushing the boundaries of straight-ahead jazz.

Footprints was originally released as The Visit on Cobblestone Records in 1972 then reissued on Muse under its current title in 1975. This superb record was Pat Martino's sixth as a leader and his first away from the Prestige fold. This tremendous quartet session was recorded March 1972 when the guitarist was still only 27 and featured the substantially driving input from bassist Richard Davis, second guitarist Bobby Rose and drummer Billy Higgins. The disc was conceived as a personal tribute to the memory of his friend, Wes Montgomery, and while it certainly has links to its inspiration, Footprints clearly outlines some of Martino's most beautiful traits—crisp, logical, narrative lines; nothing hurried or studied but, rather, a most thoughtful statement of heartfelt intention.

The disc, recently reissued on CD by 32 Jazz, begins with Martino's rousing "The Visit," a 6/8 blues piece that suggests a much more adventuresome Wes-like appeal. Richard Davis assumes the role of dueling co-leader rather than timekeeper here and throughout. And it really makes a difference too.Montgomery's "Road Song" is explored to show the similarities—and differences—in the two guitarist's styles. Martino, a player of many ideas, traverses Wes's octaves and performs single-note patterns that would leave Montgomery green with envy. The blues balladry of Wayne Shorter's enchanting "Footprints" gets one of its most haunting, ethereal performances ever in Martino's free-for-all exploration. Martino glides over his fretboard effortlessly while Davis and Higgins work a simpatico gypsy groove (Davis has a provocative solo here too). Bobby Rose is heard, ever so rhythmically, challenging Martino to find new paths, making one wonder where the Gabor Szabo/Jimmy Stewart team would have taken a gem like this. The program is rounded out with the excellent performances of Michel Legrand's "What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life," "Jobim's "How Insensitive" and the Dietz/Schwartz standard "Alone Together"—a collection of crowd-pleasing tunes that would fit easily into many of Wes Montgomery's Verve dates.

During a 30-year recording career of many highs and a few lows, Footprints stands as one of Pat Martino's very best. The musicianship is superior, dynamic and attention grabbing. Best of all, this ideal quartet's interplay is outstanding and often astounding. Very highly recommended.

Conceived as a tribute to Wes Montgomery, this album was originally issued as The Visit in 1975. At the time, jazz guitar was experiencing a revival of sorts that primarily focused on players who had first gotten their start in the ’50s. In that context, this work-attitude laden and rife with hip, technically pristine blowing-represented a breath of fresh air that helped lay the groundwork for the Martino mystique.

Supported by second guitarist Bobby Rose, bassist Richard Davis, and drummer Billy Higgins, Martino utilizes a wide range of grooves to conjure a variety of moods. A bright jazz waltz in the mold of Montgomery’s “West Coast Blues,” “The Visit” swings mightily, giving Pat a chance to shape long, fluid lines that frequently dip into his deep creative well. The head to Montgomery’s easy grooving “Road Song” is rendered in octaves; during the blowing section, Pat freely contrasts extended phrases with bluesy licks. Slow and seductive, “Footprints” explores new spaces that find Martino playing rhythmically and at one point incorporating a series of microtonal bends (the ending features some especially cool bow work by Davis).

While the album’s length is brief by today’s standards and it would have been nice if this reissue had retained the original art and title (the original liner notes are included), it’s Martino’s musicality-here at the height of its powers-that makes Footprints a jazz guitar classic.

Martino plays in a 2-guitar quartet – with Bobby Rose backing him up on guitar, plus rhythm accompaniment by Richard Davis and Billy Higgins. The sound's definitely in the trippier, post-hippie style of Martino's work, with a sort of looseness and fluidity that you either love or hate, but a nicely swinging rhythm underneath. Titles include "Footprints", "Road Song", "The Visit", and "Alone Together". (Out of print.) 

Track listing

  1. "The Visit" (Pat Martino) - 4:34
  2. "What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?" (Alan Bergman, Marilyn Bergman, Michel Legrand) - 7:18
  3. "Road Song" (Wes Montgomery) - 5:43
  4. "Footprints" (Wayne Shorter) - 8:22
  5. "How Insensitive" (Norman Gimbel, Antônio Carlos Jobim, Vinícius de Moraes) - 6:13
  6. "Alone Together" (Howard Dietz, Arthur Schwartz) - 5:52

Personnel

Larry Coryell - 1991 "Twelve Frets To One Octave"

A guitar showcase for Coryell, who has always been among the more accomplished players on either electric or acoustic. He goes through old blues, jazz standards, and everything in between. There's absolutely nothing else to support him, enabling Coryell to display his complete technical arsenal.

I bought this album before amazon was a company and I still find it to be one of the best acoustic guitar albums I have. Such wizardlike mastery of the wooden instrument he has. Progressive jazz in a real organic matrix. Must have!!!!!

For guitarists that are curious about Larry's playing , there are guitar lessons inside! 

 Tracklist

01     Allegra's Ballerina Song   
02     Murali's Picture   
03     Flamenco Flare-Up   
04     Blue Monk   
05     Night Rain   
06     Dye Me Blue   
07     Transparence   
08     Blues For 'Charley The Lobster'   
09     Light Sweet Crude   
10     Bartok Eleven   
11     Alfonsina Del Mar   
12     Lotus Revelation   

Personnel:

    Guitar – Larry Coryell

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Children On The Corner - 2003 "Rebirth"

Even more come across the time-worn paths of ether and obscurity: Children on the Corner is a collective made up of ex-Miles Davis sidemen from his eclectic years that include Sonny Fortune, Michael Henderson, Badal Roy, Ndugu Chancler, and Barry Finnerty. The band is led by keyboardist and composer Michael Wolff, the only non-Davis personnel. Rebirth was recorded live over two nights at the popular Oakland, CA, nightspot Yoshi's. The program is a set of tunes from Davis, as well as some group and Wolff originals. The album kicks off with one of the most inspiring readings of Josef Zawinul's "Directions." For over 21 minutes, Fortune and Wolff explore the outer reaches of Davis' loose harmonic universe. The small vamps and riffs are deceptive in that they provide a framework for all kinds of harmonic interaction across numerous planes. Dissonance and groove enter into a beautiful dialogue as Fortune blows the living hell out of his ax. Wolff's fills with the right hand to provide a reference not for returning, but for jumping off, and Finnerty's razored chords and riffing patterns keep blues and funk in the forefront of the groove itself. "New York Girl" is done is two parts here with the band's own "Oakland Raga" -- featuring Roy's shimmering tables on the tip of the greasy funk underneath inserted between sections of Wolff's own compositions. "Madimba" and "Tone Poem" are melodic tonal studies that borrow from Davis' modalism as much as they do his minimalism and open the way for the psychedelic street jam "Bb Philly Funk." The set closes with an elongated, greatly inspired performance of the singsong-y "Black Satin," with the rhythm section bringing it home into the mysterioso Selim S'evade darkness with nods to George Clinton. In all, this is a fine, deftly played, and emotionally fired-up recording, one of the better post-Davis tributes out there; it deserves to be heard for the depth of inspiration and sheer musicianship between bandmembers alone. That the music stands on its own outside the Davis connection is a tribute to the emotional and musical commitment of Children on the Corner.

Miles Davis’s first electric period traced an arc from 1969 to 1975 which continues to inform the most exploratory electric jazz of the past three decades. Miles developed techniques (generic cross-pollination and studio cut and paste, to name only two) which produced seriously funky and out music and which have inspired a whole slew of innovators including – to take fellow trumpeters as one example – Jon Hassell, Cuong Vu, Dave Douglas, Erik Truffaz and Rob Mazurek. Miles Davis’s legacy continues to serve as a sturdy dam against the waves of conservatism promulgated by the likes of Stanley Crouch, Wynton Marsalis and numerous conservatory graduates. In terms of influence Miles always was and, more than a decade after his death, continues to be both archetypal outsider and right at the very center of things.

That’s one part of Miles Davis’s bequest. Wadada Leo Smith’s Yo Miles! and Mark Isham’s Silent Way Project have taken another route and approached Miles’ 1970s music as repertoire ripe for musical interpretation. Two recently formed groups to have shared this approach comprise former members of Miles’ 1970s groups: guitarist Pete Cosey’s Children of Agharta and Michael Henderson’s Children On The Corner. In the latter example Miles Davis’s bassist is joined by three other Davis alumni: Ndugu Chancler on drums, Sonny Fortune on sax, Badal Roy on tablas and two others, Michael Wolff on keyboards and Barry Finnerty on guitar.

Rebirth is a pleasure. Sonny Fortune literally kicks off “Directions” with a five minute solo at once more urgent and more ragged than his playing on Agharta and Pangaea. Ndugu Chancler and Michael Henderson drive the music along and Barry Finnerty’s guitar, though no match for Cosey, is at times suitably firey. Michael Wolff’s organ dovetails nicely with the rest of the group although his two compositions, “Oakland Raga” and “Madimba,” sound out of place alongside the other pieces.

Miles Davis established a level of innovation, passion and commitment to which most can only aspire. Ultimately your judgement of Children On The Corner will rest upon your perception of his 1970s music and what it is that continues to make it vital thirty years later.

All through jazz history, Miles' groups were incubators of young talent, and this record brings together some of the artists that sprang forth from his bands of 70s and early 80s. The title of this project is a reference to that role as well as to the seminal record of that area, "On The Corner".
The key player here is Michael Henderson, who not only was on that recording, but provided the bass that was virtually the backbone of all of Miles' groundbreaking recordings of the early 70's. Here he's teamed with Ndugu Chancler, who toured with Miles and Michael just after the "Live Evil" record. Chancler and Henderson are so locked in that it's a blast just to listen to these two guys. But essential to the unique sound of "On The Corner" was tabla, and this record is fortunate to have the man from that recording, Badal Roy, who merges brilliantly with these two.
Sonny Fortune, who came on the band not long after that release, shows that still he's pushing himself into new territory like he did with Miles in '74 and '75; it's like watching an painter in his studio sketching new works. Barry Finnerty, who was on Miles' comeback record "Man with The Horn", shifts back and forth from the chopping rhythm to a variety of leads that were essential to the sound of Miles' groups at that time. The keyboardist here, Michael Wolf, didn't play with Miles, but is clearly a serious student while adding his own unique personality (always what Miles sought from his players).
So this record is a big breath of fresh air for jazz fans who don't believe that jazz should have stopped in 1967. And for the DJs that are checking out past jazz masters through releases like the "Verve Remixed" series, here's some real live present day jazz masters pushing on in new directions, in the way Miles taught them.

 
The concept of the band is good, even if the recording quality leaves plenty to be desired. It shows electric jazz has developed its own conventions, and like acoustic bebop, electric jazz is becoming circumscribed by style with electric jazz “tradition” of electric-era Miles and Tony Williams Lifetime spiced with a little Mahavishnu-inspired chops being the standards. Once again jazz’s heritage is tending to overwhelm the present.

Track Listing:

1. Directions;
2. New York Girl I;
3. Oakland Raga;
4. New York Girl II;
5. Madimba;
6. Tone Poem;
7. Bb Philly Funk;
8. Black Satin.

Personnel:

Barry Finnerty: guitar;
Michael Wolff: piano, keys;
Ndugu Chancler: drums;
Sonny Fortune: sax, flute;
Michael Henderson: bass;
Badal Roy: tablas

Monday, March 6, 2017

Larry Coryell - 1990 "American Odyssey"

Larry Coryell (born Lorenz Albert Van DeLinder III; April 2, 1943 – February 19, 2017) was an American jazz guitarist known as the "Godfather of Fusion".

Coryell was born in Galveston, Texas. He graduated from Richland High School, in Richland, Washington, where he played in local bands the Jailers, the Rumblers, the Royals, and the Flames. He also played with the Checkers from nearby Yakima, Washington. He then moved to Seattle to attend the University of Washington. He played in a number of popular Northwest bands, including the Dynamics, while living in Seattle.

In September 1965, Coryell moved to New York City, where he attended Mannes School of Music,and then became part of Chico Hamilton's quintet, replacing Gabor Szabo. In 1967 and 1968, he recorded with Gary Burton. Also during the mid-1960s he played with the Free Spirits, his first recorded band. His music during the late-1960s and early-1970s combined the influences of rock, jazz, and eastern music. He married Jewish writer-actress Julie Nathanson before the release of his first solo album, Lady Coryell, which like Coryell, At the Village Gate, and, The Lion and the Ram featured her photos on the cover (there is a 'ghost' nude of her descending a staircase on the Aspects album cover). Julie's poetry was featured on the back cover of Ram. She was an important part of his career, as inspiration, management, and appearance at recording sessions. She wrote a book based on interviews with jazz-rock musicians, including John Abercrombie, and Jaco Pastorius.

In the early 1970s, he led a group called Foreplay with Mike Mandel, a childhood friend, although the albums of this period—Barefoot Boy, Offering, and The Real Great Escape—were credited only to "Larry Coryell." He formed the group The Eleventh House in 1973. The album sold well in college towns and the ensemble toured widely. Several of the group's albums featured drummer Alphonse Mouzon.

Following the breakup of this band, Coryell played mainly acoustic guitar but returned to electric guitar later in the 1970s. He released an album credited with Mouzon and an album with the Brubeck Brothers that was recorded direct-to-disc, a recording method revived for a time. He made several acoustic duet albums, two with Belgian guitarist (and former Focus member) Philip Catherine. Their album Twin House (1977), which contained the song "Miss Julie", drew favorable reviews.
In 1979, Coryell formed The Guitar Trio with fusion guitarist John McLaughlin and flamenco guitarist Paco de Lucía. The group toured Europe and released a video recorded at Royal Albert Hall in London entitled Meeting of Spirits. In early 1980, Coryell's drug addiction led to him being replaced by Al Di Meola. Julie Coryell sang on one track of Comin' Home (1984). The couple divorced in 1986. She died in 2009. Coryell recorded an album with (and was briefly romantically involved with) Emily Remler before her death from a heroin overdose while on tour in Australia. His two sons, Julian Coryell and Murali Coryell, are also involved in the music business.

Coryell died of heart failure in New York City, at the age of 73.

Tracks Listing

1. Julian's Card (4:24)
- Rodeo, suite :
2. Buckaroo Holiday (7:42)
3. Corral Nocturne (3:49)
4. Saturday Night Waltz (4:29)
5. Hoe-Down (4:26)
-
6. El Salon Mexico (10:00)
7. Adagio For Strings (6:17)
8. Concerto For Clarinet (6:38)
9. New Age In America (3:14)

Total time 50:59

Line-up / Musicians

- Larry Coryell / Ovation acoustic guitar

With:
- Wayne Shorter / soprano & tenor saxes (7,8)

Sunday, March 5, 2017

California Guitar Trio - 2001 "Live At The Key Club" (With Tony Levin & Pat Mastelotto)

California Guitar Trio (CGT) is a band of three guitar players founded in 1991. The three—Paul Richards of Salt Lake City, Utah, Bert Lams of Affligem, Belgium, and Hideyo Moriya of Tokyo, Japan—met at a 1987 Guitar Craft course, in which Robert Fripp instructed them in the New Standard Tuning (NST). After completing several of Fripp's Guitar Craft courses, the three toured as part of Robert Fripp and The League of Crafty Guitarists.[1]
Continuing their collaboration then in Los Angeles, they founded The California Guitar Trio in 1991. They continue to play in the New Standard Tuning.[1] Their performances and recordings include original compositions, surf covers, and classical re-workings of classical music. Their influences include European classical music, rock, blues, jazz, world music, and surf music.
The Trio's music was featured during the television coverage of the 1998[citation needed] and 2000 Olympic Games,[citation needed]. It has been featured on CBS, NBC, CNN WorldBeat, and ESPN TV programs.[citation needed] They performed on the 2003 Grammy Awards-nominated track "Apollo" on Tony Levin's CD Pieces of the Sun.[citation needed] CGT music served as wake-up music for the crew aboard NASA’s Space Shuttle Endeavour.
The California Guitar Trio performed as an opening act for King Crimson, from which bassist Tony Levin and drummer Pat Mastelotto regularly join the CGT for live shows. CGT has shared the stage with many performancers, including the following: John McLaughlin, David Sylvian, Tito Puente, Leftover Salmon, Taj Mahal, Steve Lukather, Simon Phillips, Adrian Legg, Adrian Belew, Jon Anderson.
The Trio has released 16 albums: seven studio CDs featuring original CGT songs and a variety of other works spanning numerous genres, four live releases, and a Christmas CD with Christmas music. Lams has also made a solo album of Bach preludes titled Nascent.
In August 2004 they released Whitewater, which was produced by Tony Levin. It features mainly original works of the CGT, offset by a puzzle-work arrangement of a Bach lute suite and a mashup of "(Ghost) Riders in the Sky" with The Doors' "Riders on the Storm." This was followed in 2008 by Echoes, an album composed entirely of covers, and 2010's Andromeda, the band's first release to consist entirely of original material. The 2012 release Masterworks is an all classical music compilation featuring music by Beethoven, Bach, Vivaldi, Rossini and Part. Chicago guitar virtuoso Fareed Haque played on Vivaldi's Winter, and Tony Levin played upright bass and cello on four tracks.

On February 3, 2001, the California Guitar Trio played in Hollywood's Key Club. Fortunately, they also had the stellar rhythm section of Tony Levin and Pat Mastelotto to accompany them. The result is a wonderful effort in exploring the possibilities of a guitar ensemble in both composition and execution. The album is also an exploration of music in general - a CGT concert can run the gamut from Queen to Beethoven to surf music to country, and the band recognizes the power of the music above all else. As talented as the Trio is, it's even more admirable that they are willing to take a back seat to the music itself. The personnel on this album are: Paul Richards, Hideyo Moriya, and Bert Lams, acoustic guitars; Tony Levin, bass; and Pat Mastelotto, drums and percussion.

Since 1998, the California Guitar Trio has regularly toured with expanded versions of the band. The fan favorite is no doubt the quintet form with King Crimson members Tony Levin and Pat Mastelotto. A live album, Live at the Key Club, was made available in 2001 through the CGT Direct Collectors' Series. CG3+2 takes the quintet in the studio to record their repertoire. The track list includes a couple new CGT compositions, jams and studio constructions credited to the whole group, a few more of those incredible covers the band is known for, and a few old favorites revisited. Granted, "Melrose Avenue," "Blockhead," and "Train to Lamy," all dating back to the trio's first two albums (Yamanashi Blues in 1994; Invitation in 1995), suffer a bit from overexposure, but having a rhythm section to back them up is a whole new thing -- "Melrose Avenue" turns into a splendidly driving album opener. The group compositions, in which engineer Bill Munyon also had a word, are not as satisfying as the trio's own songs. Somewhat looser, they don't pack as much energy or beauty as "Skyline" and "Eve," the two new pieces co-written by the team of Bert Lams, Paul Richards, and Hideyo Moriya. The highlights are provided by the covers: Yes' "Heart of the Sunrise," the Mahavishnu Orchestra's "Dance of Maya" (did someone mention virtuosity?), and two delightful Japanese traditional tunes rearranged by Moriya -- "Zundoko-Bushi" even includes bits of King Crimson's "21st Century Schizoid Man" and "Vrooom." CG3+2 is only half new to the fans and constitutes a meager offering composition-wise. But if the idea of the guitar trio being backed by such a skilled rhythm section makes you salivate, then by all means grab it. You won't be disappointed!

It was only a matter of time before the internationally-based California Guitar Trio's world academia-flavoured approach to creating music with the acoustic guitar would summon others into their fold. Luckily, they procured the world's greatest rhythm section - bassist Tony Levin and acoustic-electric percussion pioneer Pat Mastelotto, who befriended them while opening up for King Crimson on tour. "Over the years, we've played with several others on stage - Robert Fripp, Trey Gunn, Bill Janssen and Jarrod Kaplan," explains guitarist Bert Lams. "We've always kept our eyes out for opportunities to play with guests to expand our horizons. We've always wanted to play with a singer and having Tony is like playing with a voice. He adds an extra dimension to the music we play. Tony has a unique style; he has acquired freedom on his instrument, it's an incredible experience to be playing with a musician of that calibre. Pat adds a lot of power and groove. We actually had some people in the audience dancing! He also has tremendous musical input and has loads of enthusiasm to help really kick things along." As a trio, they project sounds with the power of an orchestra, and their attention to detail is like using pointillism to paint an emotional landscape. As a five-piece, they syncopate as if they were contained inside a high-speed subway rocket; the complex mix of Spanish, Japanese, surf and prog arrangements are amusing, controlling the audience like stoplights at a major city intersection. Originals, covers (including Yes's "Heart of the Sunrise") and daring improvs grace this live recording, which will indiscriminately charm infants up through to the aged. Lams knows where things will continue to progress, "this went so well that we decided to do another tour as a quintet this August, as well as recording a studio album together."

Tracks Listing

1. Train to Lamy (4:56)
2. Zundoko Bushi (with excerpts from 21st century schizoid man) (3:43)
3. Blackhead (3:36)
4. Apache (3:26)
5. Sketches on sunset (6:48)
6. Discipline (4:51)
7. Misirlou (1:58)
8. Many people ask us... (3:05)
9. Melrose Ave. (2:15)
10. Dance of Maya (5:54)
11. Heaven's bells (6:56)
12. Heart of the sunrise (7:22)
13. Caravan (5:28)
14. Eve (4:02)

Total Time: 64:20

Line-up / Musicians

- Bert Lams / guitars
- Hideyo Moriya / guitars
- Paul Richards / guitars
with
- Tony Levin / stick, bass
- Pat Mastelotto / drums

Friday, March 3, 2017

Larry Coryell & the Eleventh House - 2014 "January 1975" (Livelove Series Vol 1)

In the 1970s, Germany's Radio Bremen simulcast a series of modern jazz concerts from all across the spectrum, and wisely archived them. Record producer Consul Bodo Jacoby was looking for a new project after losing the rights to reissue the MPS catalog and recalled them. His Promising Music label is issuing a number of these vintage performances in what he calls the Livelove series, of which January 1975 is the first volume. This date, captured via mobile truck by the engineers of the radio station, features Larry Coryell & the Eleventh House in full flight, between the band's debut album Introducing the Eleventh House and its sophomore offering, Level One. It is the lineup from the latter record performing here. Trumpeter Michael Lawrence replaces Randy Brecker, and bassist John Lee takes over from Danny Trifan. Keyboardist Mike Mandel and drummer Alphonse Mouzon are mainstays with Coryell. While this is most certainly jazz rock fusion, it is decidedly more on the jazz tip than most of what falls under the heading. Lawrence's trumpet and Coryell's guitar consistently cover the front line of compositions such as "Eleventh House Blues" which, despite the wah-wah blues-rock intro, walks a tough bop line. The sprawling "The Other Side" uses a tight head and middle eight before moving off into the galactic regions of fusion. Ballads such as "Diedra" showcase the kind of detailed lyricism this quintet was capable of. "Julie La Belle" is an unaccompanied acoustic guitar solo that reveals the depth of the influence Brazilian and Spanish masters have had in Coryell's style. But there are also tracks that flaunt their rock dynamics such as the brooding "Low Lee Tah," which erupts with Lawrence's bleating solo halfway through before being answered in call and response by Coryell on the highwire. Mandel's Rhodes playing on "Suite (Entrance/Repose/Exit)" is the unexpected anchor here, creating space as well as harmonic and chromatic intrigue. The rhythm section doesn't so much hold down the fray as push it forward into white heat -- check Lee's intense conversation with Lawrence at the midpoint before Coryell reenters. Mouzon is on fire throughout. This is a stunning show, on par with anything by Mahavishnu Orchestra or Return to Forever; more rooted in jazz. If January 1975 is any indication of the performance quality of this vault series, there is much to celebrate.

Guitarist Larry Coryell is unquestionably one of the pioneers of jazz/rock fusion, incorporating rock elements as early as the mid-1960s with the group Free Spirits, and later with vibraphonist Gary Burton. He never attained the recognition of many who followed, but the Eleventh House was an attempt to attract the same audience as groups like John McLaughlin's Mahavishnu Orchestra, Weather Report, and Chick Corea's Return to Forever. The Eleventh House that played Bremen in 1975 was the same group that had recorded the group's second studio album Level One (Arista, 1975), with trumpeter Mike Lawrence replacing Randy Brecker and bassist John Lee replacing Danny Trifan. Original members keyboardist Mike Mandel and drummer Alphonse Mouzon (as well as Coryell himself) were still on board.

The set includes five tunes from Introducing the Eleventh House (Vanguard, 1974), three from Level One, a single track from Coryell's album The Restful Mind (Vanguard, 1975), and three that were previously unrecorded. Two of them later turned up on the live album At Montreux (Vanguard, 1978). The band comes charging in with the high energy "Bird Fingers," but then takes a surprising mellow turn. Mike Mandel's ballad "Diedra" is followed by "Gratitude "A So Low,"" the first of two Coryell solo performances (as well as the first of the punning song titles).

"Low Lee Tah" continues with Coryell alone, but the band kicks back in before long. Alphonse Mouzon's "Funky Waltz" bears a very strong resemblance to Weather Report's "Boogie Woogie Waltz." Mouzon had left Weather Report long before they recorded it, so maybe it's a coincidence—and it is indeed a funky waltz. Coryell plays "Julie La Belle" (from The Restful Mind) unaccompanied, throwing in a quote from "Scotland I," originally recorded on the proto-Eleventh House album Offering (Vanguard, 1972).

Keyboardist Mike Mandel also gets a solo spot for his tune "Untitled Thoughts." Then the whole group jumps into "Adam Smasher," and they absolutely rock out. Of all the fusion guitarists of this era, Coryell is the one with the strongest flavor of pure American rock and roll guitar in his playing, when he wants it. This tune also encapsulates the difference between these live versions and the studio originals. They're only slightly longer, for the most part—so the musicians aren't stretching out significantly—but the energy level is ramped way up.

There's a wonderful quote in the CD booklet from an audience member, just as the second song was starting: "You have to play even louder." This was a band that loved to do the stereotypical loud and fast fusion thing, but even in this outdoor concert setting they weren't afraid to mix it up. They were also more of a collective than the other leading fusion groups, with compositional input from most of the members.

They were a group that deserved wider recognition—as does Larry Coryell himself—and this live recording makes a strong case. If you were there, it's a fine souvenir. If you weren't, it's a potent reminder of how vibrant early fusion could be, before it became overwhelmed by cliche and excess.

Really great work from Larry Coryell and his Eleventh House combo – a set that's maybe even harder and funkier than we remember from any of the group's studio work! The performance was caught live by German radio in the mid 70s – and is a wonderfully-recorded date that has the guitar of Larry Coryell coming out with all these amazing fuzzy tones, next to killer keyboard work from Mike Mandel – who really wins us all over again with is work here! Coryell's got lots of sinister tones in his guitar, but is never too rockish – and the rest of the group features Mike Lawrence on trumpet, John Lee on bass, and Alfonse Mouzon on some mighty heavy drums – on titles that include "Julie La Belle", "The Other Side", "Bird Fingers", "Diedra", "Low Lee Tah", "Funky Waltz", and "Adam Smasher".

When in 1975 Larry Coryell went on tour with his short-lived all-star group The Eleventh House, the jazz-rock scene had just reached its climax. Although Larry is considered by many historians to be one of the first to melt jazz with rock, he never entered the rostrum as winner (one could guess, that his 'mistake' was not to be in any of the Miles Davis groups). With this recording this might change in retrospect. Very few acts of that era were that powerful. Hymns, simple hit melodies, funk grooves, blues rock guitar, 70ies synth sounds, and a lot of fun and entertainment were the ingredients of a concert evening to be remembered. The material chosen was like 'The Best of the Eleventh House'. While many other fusion protagonists with a jazz background used rock, blues, and funk elements, thinking this might make their music more accessible (some slipping towards easy listening, others were just unable to create a rock feeling), Larry Coryell & the Eleventh House used all these styles at well-balanced eye level.

Track Listing:

01 Bird Fingers;
02 Diedra;
03 Gratitude "A So Low";
04 Low Lee Tah;
05 Funky Waltz;
06 Suite (Entrance / Repose / Exit);
07 Julie la Belle;
08 The Other Side;
09 Tamari;
10 Untitled Thoughts;
11 Adam Smasher;
12 The Eleventh House Blues.

Personnel:

Larry Coryell: guitar;
Mike Lawrence: trumpet, flugelhorn;
Mike Mandel: keyboards;
John Lee: bass guitar;
Alphonse Mouzon: drums.