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Joy Spring: The Swinging Side Larry Coryell

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Album Review

Joy Spring is a compilation of straight-ahead tracks that guitarist Larry Coryell recorded over a four-year period for the Muse label, now reissued on the refueled and retooled Savoy Jazz label. Recorded a decade after his super fusion Eleventh House band split, Coryell is in the company of first-rate jazz talent on these three sessions with such luminaries as Stanley Cowell, Billy Hart, Buster Williams, Marvin "Smitty" Smith, and Beaver Harris (Cowell being the only constant). The tunes range form standards like the Arlen & Mercer classic "My Shining Hour," and Jerome Kern's "Yesterdays" to a completely reharmonized version of Thelonious Monk's "'Round Midnight," Wayne Shorter's "Nefertiti," and a wailing read of Clifford Brown's "Joy Spring," which opens the album. There are also fine interpretations of John Coltrane's "Moment's Notice" and Duke Ellington's "Sophisticated Lady." The only problem is that while the disc does show Coryell's straight chops in fine form and his band swinging like mad, it can feel a little schizophrenic at times, given the range of material, but perhaps that's inevitable for a comp that is apt to showcase just how deep the guitarist's roots go.


Born: 02 April 1943 in Galveston, TX

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

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 bop influences. Yet as a true eclectic, armed with a brilliant technique, he is comfortable in almost every style, covering...
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Joy Spring: The Swinging Side Larry Coryell, Larry Coryell
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