Larry Coryell

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Larry Coryell
Larry Coryell 2009, at "Jazz im Palmengarten", Frankfurt am Main.
Background information
Birth name Larry Coryell
Born (1943-04-02) April 2, 1943 (age 71)
Galveston, Texas, United States
Genres Jazz, jazz fusion, post-bop, free jazz
Occupations Guitarist/Composer/Performer
Instruments Acoustic guitar, electric guitar
Labels Vanguard, Arista, Atlantic, Novus
Associated acts The Free Spirits, The Eleventh House, Gary Burton, Charles Mingus, Steve Marcus, Chico Hamilton, Bob Moses, Wolfgang Dauner, John McLaughlin, Paco de Lucia, Lenny White, Victor Bailey

Larry Coryell (born April 2, 1943) is an American jazz fusion guitarist.[1]


Coryell was born in Galveston, Texas. He graduated from Richland High School, in Richland, Washington,[citation needed] 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.[citation needed] He played in a number of popular Northwest bands, including the Dynamics, while living in Seattle.

In 1965, Coryell moved to New York City where he 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.[2] His music during the late-1960s and early-1970s combined the influences of rock, jazz and eastern music. He formed his own group, The Eleventh House, in 1973. The album sold well in college towns and the ensemble toured widely to support that. Following the break-up of this band, Coryell played mainly acoustic guitar, but returned to electric guitar later in the 1980s. In 1979, Coryell formed The Guitar Trio with jazz fusion guitarist John McLaughlin and flamenco guitarist Paco de Lucia. The group toured Europe briefly, eventually releasing 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.[3]

In 2007, Coryell published an autobiography titled Improvising: My Life in Music. Larry's two sons, Julian Coryell and Murali Coryell, are also actively involved in the music business.

Said about[edit]

David Miller, a jazz critic from All About Jazz, in his review of Coryell concert at the Iridium, said:

  • "This was jazz at its finest—complex and virtuosic yet easily accessible, at times intense, at others fun-filled, and always with the feeling of the unknown that comes with truly spontaneous and inspired improvisation. While the music was steeped in the bop tradition, the musicians continually found new ways to utilize the idiom. Few locations other than New York could host a powerhouse gathering of musical heavyweights of this order, and one can only hope that the shows have been recorded for a future release."[4]

When NPR radio host Billy Taylor, on one of the editions of Billy Taylor's Jazz at the Kennedy Center, introduced Coryell, he said:

  • Versatile virtuoso guitarist Larry Coryell proves to be more than an outstanding musician; he’s also a particularly enlightening and affable conversationalist.[5]


As leader[edit]

With The Eleventh House

As sideman[edit]

with Jim Pepper; "Pepper's Pow Wow" (Embryo Records), 1971 With Gary Burton

With Randy Brecker

  • Score (1969)

With the Jazz Composer's Orchestra

With Wolfgang Dauner

  • Knirsch (1972)

With The Free Spirits

  • Out of Sight and Sound (1967)

With Chico Hamilton

With Arnie Lawrence

  • Look Toward a Dream (1969)

With Herbie Mann

With Michael Mantler

  • Movies (1977)

With Steve Marcus

  • Tomorrow Never Knows (1968)
  • Count's Rock Band (1968)
  • The Lord's Prayer (1969)

With Charles Mingus

With Bob Moses

  • Love Animal (1967–68)

With Chico O'Farrill

With Simon & Bard Group

With Joey DeFrancesco

  • Wonderful, Wonderful (2012)

With Dennis Haklar

  • Lizard's Tale (2012)

With Michael Mantler

  • Movies (1977)

With The Fusion Syndicate

  • The Fusion Syndicate (2012)

With The Wide Hive Players

  • Players II Guitar (2010)
  • Larry Coryell with The Wide Hive Players (2011)


  • L. Subramaniam: Violin From the Heart (1999) – directed by Jean Henri Meunier. (Includes a scene of Coryell performing with L. Subramaniam.)
  • Meeting of the Spirits /1979 (2003) – live performance in London with Coryell, John McLaughlin, and Paco de Lucia.
  • Super Guitar Trio and Friends in Concert /1990 (2005) – live performance featuring Coryell, Al Di Meola, and Biréli Lagrène.
  • Super Guitar Trio: Live in Montreux /1989 (2007) - Live performance featuring Coryell, Al Di Meola, and Biréli Lagrène.
  • Three Guitars: Paris Concert /2004 (2012) – live performance featuring Coryell, Badi Assad, and John Abercrombie.



  1. ^ Allmusic
  2. ^ Unterberger 1998, pg. 329
  3. ^ "Larry Coryell Power Trio". by Mike Riggs March 19, 2009 at the Blues Alley, Washington, D.C. Retrieved 2010-11-09. 
  4. ^ "Larry Coryell Live at the Iridium". Retrieved 2010-11-09. 
  5. ^ "Larry Coryell Live at the Kennedy Center". Retrieved 2010-11-09. 
  6. ^

External links[edit]