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Larry Coryell: Shining Hour

C. Andrew Hovan By

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The fact that guitarist Larry Coryell is such a well-known luminary when it comes to the fusion movement of the '70s obscures the fact that he is one hell of a "straight ahead" player as well. During the '80s, Coryell was able to document his more traditional chops on a series of four dates he led for the Muse label. Shining Hour, from 1989, couldn't be a better showcase for the guitarist and it's a fine choice for reissue. Obviously, Coryell was inspired by the top-notch rhythm section assembled, including master pianist Kenny Barron, bassist Buster Williams, and drummer Marvin "Smitty" Smith.

The focus here is largely on standards, although we do get two Coryell originals including the gorgeous "Apathy Rains", a duet for Barron and Coryell on acoustic guitar. A pair of tunes associated with Miles Davis, "Nefertiti" and "The Sorcerer", suggest how pervasive Davis' influence had become and continues to be. And while Coryell is surely in rare form, let us not forget to mention the solid contributions of Barron and Smith. Both men have distinctive personalities and that innate ability to inspire others with their textural shadings and nuances. The bonus track, "All the Things You Are", succinctly wraps up a delightful set and one can only hope that 32 Jazz will see fit to reissue Coryell's other Muse dates in the near future.


Track Listing: Nefertiti, Apathy Rains, Yesterdays, Floyd Gets a Gig, The Duke, My Shining Hour, The Sorcerer, All the Things You Are

Personnel: Larry Coryell, guitar; Kenny Barron, piano; Buster Williams, bass; Marvin "Smitty" Smith, drums

Title: Shining Hour | Year Released: 1999 | Record Label: 32 Records


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