All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

10

Larry Coryell & The Eleventh House: Larry Coryell & The Eleventh House: January 1975 (Livelove Series Vol 1)

Mark Sullivan By

Sign in to view read count
Guitarist Larry Coryell is unquestionably one of the pioneers of jazz/rock fusion, incorporating rock elements as early as the mid-1960s with the group Free Spirits, and later with vibraphonist Gary Burton. He never attained the recognition of many who followed, but the Eleventh House was an attempt to attract the same audience as groups like John McLaughlin's Mahavishnu Orchestra, Weather Report, and Chick Corea's Return to Forever. The Eleventh House that played Bremen in 1975 was the same group that had recorded the group's second studio album Level One (Arista, 1975), with trumpeter Mike Lawrence replacing Randy Brecker and bassist John Lee replacing Danny Trifan. Original members keyboardist Mike Mandel and drummer Alphonse Mouzon (as well as Coryell himself) were still on board.

The set includes five tunes from Introducing the Eleventh House (Vanguard, 1974), three from Level One, a single track from Coryell's album The Restful Mind (Vanguard, 1975), and three that were previously unrecorded. Two of them later turned up on the live album At Montreux (Vanguard, 1978). The band comes charging in with the high energy "Bird Fingers," but then takes a surprising mellow turn. Mike Mandel's ballad "Diedra" is followed by "Gratitude "A So Low,"" the first of two Coryell solo performances (as well as the first of the punning song titles).

"Low Lee Tah" continues with Coryell alone, but the band kicks back in before long. Alphonse Mouzon's "Funky Waltz" bears a very strong resemblance to Weather Report's "Boogie Woogie Waltz." Mouzon had left Weather Report long before they recorded it, so maybe it's a coincidence—and it is indeed a funky waltz. Coryell plays "Julie La Belle" (from The Restful Mind) unaccompanied, throwing in a quote from "Scotland I," originally recorded on the proto-Eleventh House album Offering (Vanguard, 1972).

Keyboardist Mike Mandel also gets a solo spot for his tune "Untitled Thoughts." Then the whole group jumps into "Adam Smasher," and they absolutely rock out. Of all the fusion guitarists of this era, Coryell is the one with the strongest flavor of pure American rock and roll guitar in his playing, when he wants it. This tune also encapsulates the difference between these live versions and the studio originals. They're only slightly longer, for the most part—so the musicians aren't stretching out significantly—but the energy level is ramped way up.

There's a wonderful quote in the CD booklet from an audience member, just as the second song was starting: "You have to play even louder." This was a band that loved to do the stereotypical loud and fast fusion thing, but even in this outdoor concert setting they weren't afraid to mix it up. They were also more of a collective than the other leading fusion groups, with compositional input from most of the members.

They were a group that deserved wider recognition—as does Larry Coryell himself—and this live recording makes a strong case. If you were there, it's a fine souvenir. If you weren't, it's a potent reminder of how vibrant early fusion could be, before it became overwhelmed by cliche and excess.

Track Listing: Bird Fingers; Diedra; Gratitude "A So Low"; Low Lee Tah; Funky Waltz; Suite (Entrance / Repose / Exit); Julie la Belle; The Other Side; Tamari; Untitled Thoughts; Adam Smasher; The Eleventh House Blues.

Personnel: Larry Coryell: guitar; Mike Lawrence: trumpet, flugelhorn; Mike Mandel: keyboards; John Lee: bass guitar; Alphonse Mouzon: drums.

Title: Larry Coryell & The Eleventh House: January 1975 (Livelove Series Vol 1) | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: Promising Music/MPS

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

CD/LP/Track Review
Jazz Raconteurs
CD/LP/Track Review
Interviews
Read more articles
Seven Secrets

Seven Secrets

Savoy Jazz
2017

buy
Spaces

Spaces

Vanguard Records
2016

buy
Heavy Feel

Heavy Feel

Wide Hive Records
2016

buy
Aurora Coryellis

Aurora Coryellis

Purple Pyramid
2015

buy
Larry Coryell & The Eleventh House: January 1975 (Livelove Series Vol 1)

Larry Coryell & The...

Promising Music/MPS
2015

buy
The Lift

The Lift

Wide Hive Records
2013

buy

Related Articles

Read Ancestros CD/LP/Track Review
Ancestros
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 18, 2018
Read The Bitter Suite CD/LP/Track Review
The Bitter Suite
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 18, 2018
Read Ornettiquette CD/LP/Track Review
Ornettiquette
by Chris Mosey
Published: November 18, 2018
Read The Astral Revelations CD/LP/Track Review
The Astral Revelations
by John Sharpe
Published: November 18, 2018
Read The Sound Of The Earth CD/LP/Track Review
The Sound Of The Earth
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 18, 2018
Read Return to the Future CD/LP/Track Review
Return to the Future
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 17, 2018
Read "20" CD/LP/Track Review 20
by Ian Patterson
Published: January 20, 2018
Read "Cubist" CD/LP/Track Review Cubist
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 3, 2018
Read "Peaks of Light" CD/LP/Track Review Peaks of Light
by Mark Sullivan
Published: March 18, 2018
Read "Manhattan" CD/LP/Track Review Manhattan
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 1, 2018
Read "Man No Longer Me" CD/LP/Track Review Man No Longer Me
by Matt Hooke
Published: December 25, 2017
Read "Tokyo 1981" CD/LP/Track Review Tokyo 1981
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 12, 2018