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Cedars of Avalon

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Album Review

Older jazz fans may remember Larry Coryell from the 1970s as a major jazz fusion guitarist, but this 2001 session with Cedar Walton, Buster Williams, and Billy Drummond finds him long since settled into a post-bop mode. One gets the feeling that the musicians were so comfortable playing together that they were actually a working quartet; the feeling of each track is of first-take freshness while being as close to perfection as possible. Coryell's teasing introduction to Thelonious Monk's "Bemsha Swing" shows off his playful side, though the imaginative solos all around demonstrate that there is plenty of new ground to cover within this jazz standard. He salutes Wes Montgomery with a superb take of "D-Natural Blues," as well as Johnny Smith by initiating an almost conversational duet with Williams before Walton and Drummond make their entrance. His two solo tracks, "Limehouse Blues" and his intricate "Shapes," display his phenomenal technique on acoustic guitar in a fashion similar to his mid-'70s duets with Philip Catherine, except he plays both lines through overdubbing. This is yet another outstanding release by Larry Coryell.


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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Cedars of Avalon, Larry Coryell
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  • £7.90
  • Genres: Jazz, Music, Bop
  • Released: 09 September 2002

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