Friday, August 14, 2015

Larry Coryell - 1974 Introducing The Eleventh House

Introducing the Eleventh House with Larry Coryell is The Eleventh House's debut album released 1974 for the Vanguard. According to All About Jazz it was one of the pioneer jazz-rock fusion albums

Larry Coryell stands on equal footing with John McLaughlin as one of the premier jazz fusion guitarist and this probably represents his finest achievement. Many people consider his earlier work with McLaughlin, 'Spaces' as writing the textbook for fusion style guitarwork, but to me, this is his greatest overall musical achievement. Comparisons to the original Mahavishnu Orchestra may seem to be inevitable considering the power and attack of the band's performance, but stylistically, the band plays much closer to the fusion/funk style of Herbie Hancock's Headhunters. Their is not as much of an eastern influence as the Mahavishnu Orchestra and there seems to be a wider variety of tempo and stylistic diversity on this recording. The synthesizer runs and Randy Brecker's trumpet keep pace rather well with Coryell's intensity and the compositional framework is elaborate and melodically sophisticated. But the highlight, of course, is the blitzkrieg of notes being pummelled out of Coryell's guitar mostly trading with synthesizer and trumpet, intermingled with more mid tempo improvisations; but the dynamics and interaction feature not just beautifully intricate work, but ingenious melodic and harmonic scales befitting musicians of the highest technical accomplishment. This is probably the most technically perfect fusion recording I have ever heard; a joyous and awesome performance! 

The Eleventh House during 1972-1975 was one of the stronger working groups in fusion, led by one of the unsung heroes of the idiom, guitarist Larry Coryell. This CD reissue brings back The Eleventh House's first recording and, in addition to Coryell's guitar, most heavily featured are trumpeter Randy Brecker (who would later be replaced by Mike Lawrence) and keyboardist Mike Mandel; bassist Danny Trifan and drummer Alphonse Mouzon are strong in backup roles. The influence of Miles Davis, Weather Report, and Herbie Hancock is apparent, but The Eleventh House also offered a sound of their own. Brecker's solos are often both fiery and lyrical (although his use of an occasional electric wah-wah device is less interesting). Coryell and Mandel blend together quite well, and the original grooves on this set often have distinctive personalities. Pity that the reissue does not have any liner notes, otherwise it is easily recommended to fans of early fusion. 

Tracks Listing
1. Birdfingers ( 3:07 )
2. The Funky Waltz ( 5:10 )
3. Low Lee Tah ( 4:17 )
4. Adam Smasher ( 4:30 )
5. Joy Ride ( 6:08 )
6. Yin ( 6:03 )
7. Theme For A Dream ( 3:26 )
8. Gratitude ( 3:21 )
9. Ism-ejercicio ( 3:59 )
10. Right On Yàll ( 4:21 )

Total Time : 44:47

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