Larry Coryell

Larry Coryell (April 2, 1943 — Feb. 19, 2017) was an American guitarist who emerged in the late-1960s jazz-rock-psych combo The Free Spirits. During the mid-1970s, he led the jazz-rock supergroup The Eleventh House, cutting the albums Introducing, Level One, and Aspects. He also partook in Wolfgang Dauner’s Et Cetera with Colosseum drummer Jon Hiseman, playing on the 1972 MPS release Knirsch.

As a solo artist, Coryell issued 10 albums on Vanguard between 1969 and 1976, followed by titles on Arista, Elektra, Philips, and Muse during the subsequent decade.

Early in his career, Coryell backed Chico Hamilton, Gary Burton, Don Sebesky, and Steve Marcus. His collaborative efforts include albums with Steve Khan, Philip Catherine, Arnie Lawrence, L. Subramaniam, Chet Baker, and John Scofield.

Coryell was born Lorenz Albert Van DeLinder III on April 2, 1943, in Galveston, Texas, where he started playing piano at age four. As a teenager, he took up guitar, inspired by Les Paul, Barney Kessel, Tal Farlow, and Kenny Burrell. He cited his exposure to Wes Montgomery as transformative and named The Incredible Jazz Guitar of Wes Montgomery as one of his primary influences as a jazz guitarist.

Along with his mother and stepfather, Coryell moved to Richland, Washington, where he played in a slew of local bands (The Jailers, The Rumblers, The Royals, The Flames). He first recorded with the Seattle instrumental-rock combo The Dynamics, cutting three co-written singles (1962–64) on local-press Seafair Bolo Records.

In 1964, he notched two additional listed credits: the album The Girl From Ipanema by Chuck Mahaffay & The Individuals (21 Records) and the single “The Old Teenager” (b/w “The Salmon Fisherman”) by Hardwick (Panorama).

In September 1965, Coryell moved to New York City, where he attended Mannes School of Music and studied the works of classical composers, including Bartók, Debussy, Ravel, Stravinsky, and Shostakovich. Around this time, he replaced Gábor Szabó in drummer Chico Hamilton’s quintet and played on the Impulse! title The Dealer, released in 1966 under the name Chico Hamilton Introducing Larry Coryell.

In 1967, Coryell joined The Free Spirits, one of the earliest jazz-pop-psych crossover acts. Their album, Out of Sight and Sound, appeared that year on ABC Records. Immediately afterward, he joined the backing quartet of vibraphonist Gary Burton and played on the 1967/68 RCA releases Duster, Lofty Fake Anagram, A Genuine Tong Funeral, Feelings and Things, and In Concert. Also in 1968, Coryell played on two Verve releases by trombonist Don Sebesky, The Distant Galaxy and Don Sebesky & The Jazz Rock Syndrome

Along with Free Spirits bandmates Bob Moses and Chris Hills, Coryell played on Tomorrow Never Knows, the debut album by saxophonist Steve Marcus, produced by Herbie Man and released in 1968 on Vortex Records. (That album also features New Zealand-born keyboardist Mike Nock, a member of fellow NY jazz-rock pioneers The Fourth Way.)

In late 1968, Coryell secured a deal with the newly-formed jazz label Vanguard Apostolic and recorded his first solo album at Apostolic Recording Studio.


  • Coryell (1969)
  • Lady Coryell (1969)
  • Spaces (1970)
  • Barefoot Boy (1971)
  • Offering (1972)
  • The Real Great Escape (1973)
  • Level One (1975 • The Eleventh House featuring Larry Coryell)
  • Planet End (1975)
  • The Restful Mind (1975)
  • Aspects (1976 • The Eleventh House Featuring Larry Coryell)
  • Basics (1976)
  • The Lion and the Ram (1976)
  • Back Together Again (1977 • Coryell / Mouzon)
  • Twin-House (1977 • Larry Coryell & Philip Catherine)
  • Better Than Live (1978 • Larry Coryell & The Brubeck Brothers)
  • Difference (1978)
  • European Impressions (1978)
  • Splendid (1978 • Coryell / Catherine)
  • Return (1979)
  • Tributaries (1979)
  • Bolero (1981)
  • Standing Ovation (1981)
  • The Duo (1982 • Larry Coryell & Michał Urbaniak)
  • A Quiet Day in Spring (1983 • Larry Coryell & Michał Urbaniak)
  • The Duo (1982 • Larry Coryell & Michał Urbaniak)
  • A Quiet Day in Spring (1983 • Larry Coryell & Michał Urbaniak)
  • Facts of Life (1983 • Larry Coryell & Michał Urbaniak)
  • Le Sacre du Printemps (1983)
  • Round Midnight (1983 • Fumio Karashima Trio / Larry Coryell)
  • Comin’ Home (1984)
  • Just Like Being Born (1984 • Larry Coryell & Brian Keane)
  • The Four Seasons (1984 • Kazuhito Yamashita & Larry Coryell)
  • Comin’ Home (1984)
  • Together (1985 • Larry Coryell & Emily Remler)
  • The 11th House (1985 • Alphonse Mouzon & Larry Coryell)
  • Together (1985 • Larry Coryell & Emily Remler)
  • & Special Guests (1986 • Biréli Lagrène, Larry Coryell & Miroslav Vitous)
  • Bolero (1986 • Larry Coryell & Brian Keane)
  • Equipoise (1986)
  • Dedicated to Bill Evans & Scott La Faro (1987 • Larry Coryell & Miroslav Vitous)
  • Air Dancing (1988 • Larry Coryell Quartet)
  • Toku Do (1988)
  • Dragon Gate (1989)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *