Larry Coryell

Barefoot Man: Sanpaku

The lastest from the godfather of fusion guitar harkens back to his ’71 album Barefoot Boy, revisiting the energy, philosophy, and spirit of that period.

“Sanpaku” opens the set with Coryell’s take on modal funkiness as a gateway to more harmonically expansive compositions. “Back To Russia” and “If Miles Were Here” showcase seasoned musicianship, authority, and excellent use of dynamics. The latter composition is an ode to the influence of Miles Davis’ fusion era. Pianist Lynne Arriale, bassist John Lee, drummer Lee Pierson, and sax flautist Dan Jordan are spectacular throughout.

For “Improv On 97” Coryell visits the land of pure improvisational freedom as he effortlessly soars across the fretboard of his Gibson Super 400. He creates beautiful lines over a rich chordal bed with vivacious pocket drumming.

The psychic interplay between fretless bass, flute, and Coryell’s Martin acoustic is breathtaking on “Penultimate.” “Manteca” with its Afro Cuban syncopation and the bop architecture of “Blue Your Mind” furnish an excellent springboard for exuberant musical interplay.

This is an organic record full of spontaneity and lush atmosphere. Arriale’s piano playing is sheer delight, while Coryell remains the patriarch of his universe.

This article originally appeared in VG‘s April ’17 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.