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20 Jul 2017

Larry Coryell "Introducing The Eleventh House" 1974 US Jazz Rock Fusion

Larry Coryell  "Introducing The Eleventh House" 1974 US Jazz Rock Fusion  highly recommended…!!!

The Elevent House with Larry Coryell.“The Funky Waltz”.1971 {HQ}

The Elevent House with Larry Coryell.“Right On Y`all”.1974 {HQ}


The Eleventh House during 1972-1975 was one of the stronger working groups in fusion, led by one of the unsung heroes of the idiom, guitarist Larry Coryell. This CD reissue brings back the Eleventh House's first recording and, in addition to Coryell's guitar, most heavily featured are trumpeter Randy Brecker (who would later be replaced by Mike Lawrence) and keyboardist Mike Mandel; bassist Danny Trifan and drummer Alphonse Mouzon are strong in backup roles. The influence of Miles Davis, Weather Report, and Herbie Hancock is apparent, but the Eleventh House also offered a sound of their own. Brecker's solos are often both fiery and lyrical (although his use of an occasional electric wah-wah device is less interesting). Coryell and Mandel blend together quite well, and the original grooves on this set often have distinctive personalities. Pity that the reissue does not have any liner notes, otherwise it is easily recommended to fans of early Scott Yanow.............

YEARS FOLLOWING THE RELEASE OF MILES DAVIS’ 1969 landmark, Bitches Brew, jazz-rock fusion ruled, with Davis, Tony Williams’ Lifetime, the Mahavishnu Orchestra, Weather Report, and Return to Forever helming the movement. But while most members of these groups came from primarily jazz backgrounds, there was one rogue guitarist who had dipped equally into both the jazz and rock pools, lending him the advantage of having experienced the best of both worlds. In fact, by 1973, Larry Coryell had already played and/or recorded with jazz drum legend Chico Hamilton, vibraphone virtuoso Gary Burton, Miles Davis, John McLaughlin, Chick Corea, Tony Williams, Jack Bruce, Noel Redding, Mitch Mitchell, and yes, Jimi Hendrix. He had also released a string of seminal genre-bending solo albums, been a member of the Free Spirits, and co-starred alongside McLaughlin and Corea on the now-legendary Spaces album, thus cementing his status as one of the true forefathers of jazz-rock fusion guitar.
Ironically the same year that Mahavishnu imploded, 1973 also marked the debut of the Eleventh House, Coryell’s first group effort as a leader. In a move almost reminiscent of how Led Zeppelin filled the void left after Cream disbanded, Coryell assembled the best musicians he could find and set out to take the fusion world by storm. The Eleventh House was originally comprised of Coryell (who at the time endorsed the Hagstrom Swede and Mutron effects by Musitronics), Randy Brecker on trumpet (later replaced by Mike Lawrence), keyboard wizard Mike Mandel, bassist Danny Trifan (later replaced by John Lee), and drummer extraordinaire Alphonse Mouzon. The band’s lineup, particularly the inclusion of Brecker as Coryell’s main instrumental foil, set them apart from their contemporaries.
Of course, Coryell’s solo chops are to die for, but we’re here today to explore the harmonic designs, melodic ensemble interplay, and monstrous grooves found throughout the band’s small-but-mighty back catalog, which is why I’ve placed Larry Coryell, the Eleventh House, and their first two albums, Introducing the Eleventh House (1974) and Level One (1975), under investigation.


Introducing the Eleventh House takes flight with the aptly-named “Bird-fingers,” a soaring 11/8 workout that features Alphonse Mouzon’s furious eight-bar drum intro prefacing the song’s head, or melody. The 11/8 meter is subdivided into 3+3+3+2, or 6/8+5/8 (check out how the first half of the bass line creates a two-against-three polyrhythm), and the head features Coryell echoing the blazing, one-bar pentatonic lines played in unison by Randy Brecker and Mike Mandel. Ex. 1 illustrates Coryell’s response to the identical opening trumpet and keyboard phrase, so we’re actually starting at bar 2 of the melody. The line utilizes the third mode of G pentatonic minor (or the second mode of Bb pentatonic major) played over a C bass to imply a C Mixolydian/G Dorian tonality. When the line first appears, the trumpet and keys hold the last note (C) for nearly a full measure as Coryell answers with Ex. 1. As soon as he finishes, Coryell cuts his last note short to accommodate the pending key change, and Brecker and Mandel play the same line a half-step higher (G# pentatonic minor over a C# bass). Coryell immediately mirrors the lick in the following measure and the transposed tradeoffs continue down a whole step from our starting point (F pentatonic minor over a Bb bass) where L.C. changes his response. You get a lesson in cool compositional form, an intense 11/8 workout, a chops-building single-note melodic line, and a groovy rule of substitution, all in the space of eleven beats at 294 b.p.m.! Yow!!


This funkifized waltz became a fusion standard by virtue of its ease of playability, infectious melody, and ultra-funky 3/4 groove. Heck, you could even dance to it! The song was recorded in the key of Ab minor, which I’ve lowered a half-step to reduce the number of accidentals in the key signature. Composer Mouzon kicks it off and is joined eight bars later by bassist Trifan playing the simple, “why-didn’t- I-think-of-that?” bass figure shown in Ex. 2a. The four-bar phrase contains only one deviation, much like Miles’ work from the same era, and Mandel adds Fender Rhodes stabs (depicted in the upstemmed part), as well as well as atmospheric whoops and shrieks courtesy of his ARP Odyssey. Once the mood is set, a Mutron-III-effected Coryell enters the sonic picture with the phrase shown in Ex. 2b, this time playing in octaves with Brecker’s trumpet. After a two-bar rest, both follow up with Ex. 2c. Combine both examples to form the full four-bar melody. The only missing pieces are the Bbsus2, Csus2, Dsus2, and Csus2-to-Asus2 hits that follow four rounds of the melody, but these identical voicings are easy to suss—just figure out the first one (Hint: It’s barred at the first fret), and then move it around. Check out L.C.’s solo for some of the gnarliest Mutron-III tones ever!


Coryell himself profiled his composition in one of the numerous instructional columns he authored for GP throughout the ’70s and ’80s (November 1977, to be exact), but it’s cool enough to deserve revisiting. Though the song’s ethereal chord progression eventually serves as a solo backdrop for both Brecker and Coryell, its arpeggiated nature and alternating measures of 8/4 and 6/4 make for a very spooky and satisfying solo piece. Ex. 3a, which represents half of the progression, begins with two 8/4 bars of the “tonic” F#7add4(b9) chord, followed by a bar of 6/4 that features an even spookier (and un-nameable!) arpeggio, plus another 8/4 bar of F#7add4(b9), minus the rhythmic anticipation on the first note. (Fact: Coryell used two phase shifters to further enhance the vibe.) Once you grasp these chord grips and picking patterns, the next four will easily fall into place. To complete the song’s 16-bar progression, play the strange and beautiful arpeggios in Examples 3b,3c,3d, and 3e in sequence, but append each one of these 6/4 beauties with the 8/4 F#7add4(b9) figure from bar 4 of Ex. 3a. Brecker’s lead trumpet melody consists of the first two notes in each 8/4 measure (including anticipations), plus the first and last four notes of every 6/4 bar, all played two octaves higher. It’s creepy, but in a really good way!


The Eleventh House flavored their unique brand of jazz-rock with more lowdown, greasy funk than perhaps any other post- Miles fusion outfit. Case in point: Another dance-worthy Mouzon number, “Right On Y’all” gets off and running with Coryell’s bubbling Mutron-effected F7 hits punctuated by Brecker’s electric wah-trumpet replies, as depicted in Ex. 4a. Preceded by four bars of IV-chord (Bb7) funk, the ensuing ensemble theme takes shape in Ex. 4b, where the guitar part can be fattened up with the optional notes shown in parentheses. Ex. 4c sets into motion a unison guitar-and-trumpet IV-chord figure that culminates with the harmonized V-chord (C7) lick (arranged here for a single, adventurous guitarist) that appears in the second ending. Complete the song form by transposing up a whole-step (to D), and then another whole-step higher (to E) before y’all come back to the Ex. 4a-based solo section. Right on!


This up-tempo shuffle is my favorite cut from Level One, the second Eleventh House album Ex. 5a shows how Coryell sets the pace, first by playing a boogie-fied, single-note riff (Gtr. 1), and then by layering a descending chord figure over it (Gtr.2). Ex. 5b’s A-Mixolydian-based guitar and trumpet melody remains deceptively simple until bar 4, where all hell breaks loose with a barrage of sixteenth-notes that rub deliciously against the triplet-based shuffle groove. I used to love getting a disco crowd to dance to this tune, and then hitting them with this sheet of sound. (It went by so fast that they never knew what hit them!) Finish off the eight-bar form by reprising bars 3 and 4 sans the last four notes. For a real mind-bender, have a go at figuring out the harmonized guitar and trumpet bridge after Coryell’s solo, as well as their harmonization of the recapitulated melody that follows. Big fun, monster grooves, and virtuosic soloing await, so track down these two amazing albums and collect your reward!
by......Jesse Gress...................

You know this thing means business, from the stellar lineup including trumpeter Randy Brecker to the appropriately titled burning opening track Birdfingers (and those fingers was a flyin' here!). Here, Larry and Company carved out a unique sound for themselves in a genre' that Larry helped pioneer. The interaction between Larry C and Randy Brecker is pure magic, as keyboardist Mike Mandell lets forth funky Herbie Hancock-eque interjections and the rhythm section of bassist Danny Trifan and drummer Alphonse Mouzon pushes things along at a harrowing pace.
The Highlights: Birdfingers with Larry and Randy exchanging lively phrases and challenges, Funky Waltz, Low-Le-Tah, and the screamingly funky Adam Smasher amongst many. The introspective Theme For A Dream is a great change of pace. Even more wonderfully psychotronic is the inclusion of extra tracks like the ominous Cover Girl (which was even more so played live), Randy Brecker's Rocks (which later wound up redone on the first Brecker Bros. album) and Eyes of Love. Gratitude-A-So-Low is a mysterious and edgy electric guitar solo piece by Larry that will have you on the edge of your seat as well.

The Only Gripe: Alphonse Mouzon's drumming, sometimes grooving and then maddeningly sloppy and over-technical in the blink of an eye. Having the sheer chops that Alphonse did was both a wonderful blessing AND a horrible curse at the same time. Depending on the song, Alphonse could either carry it along very strongly, or let his technique and ego get so out of control and try to cram as many notes into a bar as fast as possible like a caffeine-crazed octopus, leaving little to no breathing room for the other musicians at times. However, the sheer quality of the tunes and the players enables me to look past this more than I would otherwise.

Gripes aside, I am just sooooo glad this made it to CD, a wonderful slice of classic fusion and Larry Coryell reaching for a higher level!..... by The Owl .......

As the title indicates, this LC's new fusion group, as he thought it was also pertinent to build a JR/F group as McL had (MO), or Zawinul and Shorter (WR), or Corea (RTF). So in came The Eleventh House, with a solid line-up, with powerhouse drummer Alphonse Mouzon, Randy Brecker on trumpet, Mike Mandel on keys and little-known Tritan on bass. Again produced by Vanguard label in-house Danny Weiss (it seems LC only wanted him), this album comes again with a major psychey and spacey artwork from Jacques Wyrs. But as LC was one of the last great jazzman to get his group together (or jump on the bandwagon if you wish), he wouldn't really be as successful either commercially or artistically. This EH project will not be a vehicle for its leader, the way MO would be for McL, as LC will regularly leave space for Alphonse Mouzon and Mike Mandel writing songs (two each on this album). The grouop has its roots in the previous LC solo album Offering.

While this debut album smokes in places, and rocks your wimpy arse to the ground, it also has its share of flaws and fails to really convince completely as did Inner Mounting Flame or Weather Report's debut did. Starting on the ultra fast asc/desc-ending riff of Birdfingers, which resembles a bit MO's first album, Brecker gets the solos for himself. The following Mouzon-penned Funky Waltz is more reminiscent of WR's Mysterious Traveller (same ideal: find a groove and stick to it, soloing away), released the same year, with Brecker's trumpet replacing Shorter's sax. Low-Lee-Tah (I suppose Lolita) is a slow torrid fusion, seemingly crossing early MO and early WR, and it comes out as a pure scorcher. The Mandel-written Adam Smasher should be the pianist's bravery piece, but Brecker again seems to steal the show, with Coryell's wah-wah guitar solo equally impressive. Mandell can't catch his moment in his other track, Joy Ride, and his choice of synth is astonishing for the year (he must've been one of the first to own it), but I was never fond of that sound, which will pollute the later 70's fusion albums.

On the flipside, Yin kicks in open doors, but it's so sweet to get this type of 100 mph track right between MO and WR, RTF being not far away, either. 100% molten lava pouring out of the crater of your speakers, with again the same synth. The Dream theme is a slow and rather uninteresting tune, lacking the energy of its sister tracks. Gratitude is a guitar solo piece that would've been best left out, and saved for solo album. Ism-Ejercico is much reminiscent of Yin and Birdfinger, again finding its influences on the MO/WR axis. The closing Right On (Mouzon-penned) repeats the formula of Funky Waltz with better luck and finesse.

Soooo, aside a weaker passage on the flipside, Eleventh House's debut is a very impressive start and maybe the group's finer moments, even if there will be more. Maybe LC's most...... by Sean Trane ................

As one of the pioneers of jazz-rock -- perhaps the pioneer in the ears of some -- Larry Coryell deserves a special place in the history books. He brought what amounted to a nearly alien sensibility to jazz electric guitar playing in the 1960s, a hard-edged, cutting tone, and phrasing and note-bending that owed as much to blues, rock, and even country as it did to earlier, smoother bop influences. Yet as a true eclectic, armed with a brilliant technique, he remained comfortable in almost every style, covering almost every base from the most decibel-heavy, distortion-laden electric work to the most delicate, soothing, intricate lines on acoustic guitar. Unfortunately, a lot of his most crucial electric work from the '60s and '70s went missing in the digital age, tied up by the erratic reissue schemes of Vanguard, RCA, and other labels, and by jazz-rock's myopically low level of status in certain quarters.

According to Coryell, his interest in jazz took hold at the age of four, and after his family moved from Galveston to the state of Washington three years later, he began to learn the guitar, studying records by Tal Farlow, Barney Kessel, and Johnny Smith. As a teenager, he played in a band led by pianist Mike Mandel, and by 1965 he gave up his journalism studies at the University of Washington in order to try his luck in New York as a musician. Before the year was out, he attracted much attention jamming in Greenwich Village and replaced Gabor Szabo in Chico Hamilton's band. In 1966, he made a startling recorded debut on Hamilton's The Dealer album, where his blues and rock ideas came to the fore, and that year he also played with a proto-jazz-rock band, the Free Spirits. Coryell's name spread even further in 1967-1968 when he played with Gary Burton's combo, and he was one of the most prominent solo voices on Herbie Mann's popular Memphis Underground album (recorded in 1968). He, Mandel, and Steve Marcus formed a group called Foreplay in 1969 (no relation to the later Fourplay), and by 1973 this became the core of the jazz-rock band Eleventh House, which after a promising start ran aground with a string of albums of variable quality.

In 1975, Coryell pulled the plug, concentrating on acoustic guitar and turning in a prolific series of duo and trio sessions with the likes of Philip Catherine, Emily Remler, John Scofield, Joe Beck, Steve Khan, and John McLaughlin. In the mid-'80s, Coryell toured with McLaughlin and Paco de Lucía, and in 1986 participated in a five-way guitar session with his old idol Farlow, Scofield, Larry Carlton, and John Abercrombie for the Jazzvisions series. Coryell also recorded with Stéphane Grappelli, Charles Mingus, Sonny Rollins, and Kenny Barron, and taped Brazilian music with Dori Caymmi for CTI, mainstream jazz for Muse, solo guitar for Shanachie and Acoustic Music, and (for Nippon Phonogram in Japan) an album of classical transcriptions of music by Stravinsky and Rimsky-Korsakov.

Coryell's career in the early 21st century was just as active. The year 2004 saw the release of Tricycles, an excellent trio date with drummer Paul Wertico and bassist Mark Egan. Electric from 2005 found Coryell playing jazz standards and rock anthems with Lenny White on drums and Victor Bailey on electric bass. In 2006 he released the performance album Laid Back & Blues: Live at the Sky Church in Seattle, followed two years later by Impressions: The New York Sessions on Chesky. In 2011 the guitarist joined a group of musicians closely associated with the Bay Area's Wide Hive label for Larry Coryell with the Wide Hive Players. He then returned in 2013 with The Lift, featuring organist Chester Thompson. Two years later, he delivered his third album for Wide Hive, Heavy Feel. In January 2017, Coryell announced he had reunited members of his '70s fusion group Eleventh House, including trumpeter Randy Brecker, for the album Seven Secrets. The album was slated to arrive in early June of that year, with a number of U.S. summer tour dates confirmed in support of the release. However, following a pair of weekend shows at New York City's Iridium club, Coryell died of heart failure in his hotel room on February 19, 2017. He was 73 years old. ~ Richard S. Ginell.....................

Randy Brecker – horn, trumpet
Larry Coryell – guitar
Mike Mandel – piano, synthesizer
Alphonse Mouzon – drums, percussion
Danny Trifan – bass
Dave Baker – engineer, mixing
Tom Paine – direction
Danny Weiss – producer

A1 Birdfingers
A2 The Funky Waltz
A3 Low-Lee-Tah
A4 Adam Smasher
A5 Joy Rider
B1 Yin
B2 Theme For A Dream
B3 Gratitude "A So Low"
B4 Ism - Ejercicio
B5 Right On Y'all

Larry Corryel With The Eleventh House Discography

Introducing The Eleventh House with Larry Coryell (Vanguard VSD-79342, 1974)
Larry Coryell & The Eleventh House At Montreux (Vanguard VSD-79410, 1974 [rel. 1978])
Level One (Arista AL-4052, 1975)
Aspects (Arista AL-4077, 1976)
Larry Coryell & The Eleventh House January 1975 (Promising Music 441202, 1975 [rel. 2014])
Live at the Jazz Workshop (July 1975) (Hi Hat HHCD-014, 1975 [rel. 2015])
The Funky Waltz (Jazz Workshop, Boston 1973) (Golden Rain GRNCD-013, 1973 [rel. 2016])
Larry Coryell's 11th House: Seven Secrets (429/Savoy Jazz 16137, 2017) Coryell's final recordings

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