Larry Coryell - guitars, piano
Larry Coryell was part of the same movement of innovative young jazz guitarists that included Al Di Meola, Pat Metheny, John McLaughlin, John Ambercrombie, Larry Carlton, and others. Coryell, who for years led a progressive jazz-rock band called the Eleventh House, never saw the success that John McLaughlin's Mahavishnu Orchestra and Chick Corea's Return to Forever did when they embraced the rock audiences. In 1975, Coryell chose, instead, to stay closer to his core jazz roots and he began to focus on acoustic performances by himself and in tandem with players such as McLaughlin, Ambercrombie, and others.
This show was part of multiple performances he gave at The Bottom Line during Christmas week, 1977, although Coryell didn't present a holiday-themed set list. Instead, what he presented each night was remarkable example of Coryell's guitar virtuosity. Coryell is just as comfortable on acoustic or electric guitar, balancing intricate runs with tasteful chord progressions for a rich and full sound.
After opening with an unnamed instrumental, Coryell presents a set of guitar compositions, (and one piano song) that includes: "Julie La Belle," "Rodrigo Reflections," "April 7th," and "Autumn in New York." He also offers a guitar arrangement of his friend Chick Corea's standard, "Spain," before closing with a heartfelt performance of "Coming and Going"
Born in Texas and raised in the Seattle area, Coryell moved to Greenwich Village in New York City after dropping out of journalism school in 1965. He played in various blues, jazz, and rock bands, before replacing famed jazz axeman, Gabor Szabo in Chico Hamilton's group. Coryell emerged as a noted soloist during the late 1960s progressive jazz scene (spearheaded by icon Miles Davis' Bitches Brew) and rose to prominence with aforementioned jazz icons, Chick Corea, John McLaughlin, Al Di Meola, Jean Luc Ponty, and others. From 1971 to 1974, he led the pioneer jazz rock band, Eleventh House, which also included drummer Alfonse Mousson. When that band failed to see any real substantial gains, they folded and Coryell began to focus on acoustic solo shows and projects that paired him with his contemporaries.
Although he is best known for his work with his own group and in combination with other leading jazz artists, this show is a completely solo performance with Coryell performing on acoustic and electric guitars and piano. Coryell continues to perform as a solo instrumentalist and with his band.