Thursday, March 16, 2017

Larry Coryell - 1993 "Bolero"

This is one of the most spectacular collections of high-quality, virtuoso acoustic guitar playing ever released. With Larry Coryell, the soul of the music NEVER gets lost in the technique and there is no better demonstration of Coryell at his best than this record. Coryell's musicianship, at this point in his career, was at an extremely high level and some of these tunes may take some extra listening to fully appreciate; but once you get used to them, you can't get enough.
The legendary versions of "Something for Wolfgang Amadeus," (first published in Guitar Player in the '70s) and "Improvisation on Bolero" are here, as well as "Elegancia Del Sol," Larry's sensational tribute to flamenco-master Paco De Lucia, the gorgeous French impressionist meditation "La Pluie," the Django Reinhardt style "Waltz No.6," and a whole bunch of fantastic blues and rock inspired pieces. There's also Brian Keane's "A Piece for Larry," (which Larry himself found too difficult to play) one of the most complicated and beautiful acoustic guitar pieces I've ever heard.
If you're a fan of great guitar playing and don't already own this CD, you are suffering a SERIOUS lack; hurry up and buy this right now before your musical tastes atrophy. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.


Larry is truly an underated jazz giant. Saw him recently and Bolero on six string solo was truly amazing. Bolero is a virtuoso masterpiece. 

When I asked Larry Coryell what CD "Bolero" was on after his blistering set at the Tin Angel in Philadelphia he looked slightly perturbed by my question and answered "Bolero." I ordered the CD based on the performance of that one piece. The Bolero I heard that night was a little different than the one on the CD. It had a distinctly Indian flavor as if had been filtered through a Pakistani deli. I was blown away by the piece in concert and waited with baited breath for the CD to arrive. I was not disappointed. "Bolero" is arguably the finest collection of virtuoso acoustic guitar wizardry I have ever heard. Stylistically the CD veers between classical, jazz, flamenco and fusion with elements of rock. Despite this melting pot of influences, all the tracks mesh together seamlessly. The spirit of the music is positive, warm, upbeat and blissful. It would be the perfect CD to listen to while sitting on a beach watching the waves roll in. It gets played more than most of the CDS in my collection of over 600. I recommend it highly!

If you like acoustic guitar playing of the highest caliber, look no further. You've never heard playing like this...everything is played only as good as it has to be and left to breath. From flamenco influenced burners like "Elegancia del Sol" to wonderfully eccentric classical improvisations, everything on this record is a connoisseur's special yet accessible to all who can hear.  

Among the most flexible of jazz guitarists, Larry Coryell performs ten unaccompanied and largely acoustic solos and plays four duets with fellow guitarist Brian Keane (who has "A Piece for Larry" to himself). The intimate selections often come across as improvised classical music (although all but a couple of Ravel themes were composed by one of the two guitarists), with Coryell emphasizing the beauty of his tone and the melodic side of his style. This CD reissue was originally issued by the German String label. 

 Track Listings

  1. Improvisation On 'Bolero'
  2. Nothing Is Forever
  3. Something For Wolfgang Amadeus
  4. Prld from 'Tombeau De Couperin'
  5. Elegancia Del Sol
  6. Fancy Frogs
  7. 6 Watch Hill Road
  8. Blues In Madrid
  9. Motel Time
  10. At The Airport
  11. Brazilla
  12. A Piece For Larry
  13. La Pluie
  14. Waltz No.6
  15. Patty's Song
 

Personnel:

Larry Coryell - Guitar
Brian Keane - Guitar 

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