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Album Review

This trio set featuring guitarist Larry Coryell, drummer Lenny White, and bassist Victor Bailey is issued by Chesky, purveyor of uncompressed audiophile recordings. And while the sound is wondrous, it's the performances here that take front and center. The mix of jazz, funk, and rock tunes on Electric is infectious, especially when played with such incendiary inspiration. Members of this trio wrote four of the nine tunes here. White's furied funk freak-out "Wolfsbane" opens the proceeding on a hot note, and Coryell's "BB Blues" takes the jazz-inflected blues to a new intensity. But it is the covers here that really resonate, from a skeletal and edgy reading of Miles Davis' "So What," to Wayne Shorter's signature tune "Footprints," the jazz chops and expansive improvisation are present everywhere. On Sly and the Family Stone's "Sex Machine" and the Page & Plant nugget "Black Dog," the pedal to the metal aesthetic really works. Elsewhere, "Born Under a Bad Sign" is dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century without losing its blues fire. This is not a recording for those looking for Coryell's jazz technique and subtle artistry in interpreting music from the days of yore. Listeners looking for a balls-out charge of electric jazz-rock will be more than delighted by this outing.

Biography

Born: April 02, 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,...
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