Goodbye, Larry Coryell

20. February, 2017


Larry Coryell, one of the most influential contemporary jazz guitarists passed away at the age of 73 in his sleep, on Sunday 19 February, just a day after his last concert, held at the Iridium club in New York.

This legendary artist, known to many as the “Godfather of Fusion”, occupies an important place in the history of jazz. Jazz Fest’s audience will remember him for his exceptional performances in 2012, when he played at the 16th Jazz Fest as a member of the Miles Smiles ensemble alongside trumpeter Wallace Roney, saxophonist Rick Margitza, bassist Ralphe Armstrong, Joey DeFrancesco on organ and Omar Hakim on the drums.

Born in Texas and raised in Washington, he came to New York in the 1960ties, he played with Gary Burton, recorded with the band Free Spirits and combined influences of rock, jazz and music of the East. He collaborated with Miles Davis, Jimi Hendrix, Ron Carter, Alphonso Muzo, Chet Baker, he founded The Eleventh House in the 1970ties and has planed an extensive tour in 2017 with the reformed ensemble, whose new CD Seven Secrets will be released in June this year.

Broader audiences became familiar with Larry Coryell as a member of the famous guitar trio he founded in 1979 with John McLaughlin and Paco de Lucia. He left the trio soon after and his place was filled by A Di Meola.

Among the last compositions he wrote, were operas based on Tolstoy‘s War and Peace and Anna Karenina, as well as Uliks by James Joyce.

Photo: Larry Coryell, 16th Jazz Fest Sarajevo 2012, Armin Smailović