After two recent electric fusion project records with drummer Steve Smith ( Cause and Effect
and Count's Jam Band Reunion
), veteran fusion guitarist and composer Larry Coryell returns with Power Trio: Live in Chicago
. In this live set captured at the Jazz Showcase, this trio swings through mellow moods with traditional jazz sonic textures, in contrast to the classic fusion that won Coryell fame in the early '70s. The sparse instrumentation, consisting of Larry Gray on upright and electric bass and Paul Wertico on drums, leaves plenty of room for Coryell's guitar to shine. His playing shifts immaculately from bright comping to nimble clean runs or plucked arpeggios, and the rhythm section backs him with subtle confidence.
The songs on Live in Chicago range from snappy electric jazz like "Autumn Leaves" through slow dirges like "Black Orpheus" and "Bumpin' on Sunset," to acoustic ballads like "Love is Here to Stay," and Coryell's guitar stirs with beauty in the solo piece "Something." He displays mastery of all these varied styles, but the melodies can't match the catchy heads from his fusion work, like "Scotland I." Coryell and his band perform a solid set of traditional electric and acoustic jazz on Live in Chicago , and the recording captures the crisp feel of live performance, but the music doesn't have the same memorable spark as Coryell's classic or recent fusion.
Personnel: Larry Coryell: guitars,
Larry Gray: basses,
Paul Wertico: drums.