April 2, 1943 – February 19, 2017
Larry Coryell was a ground-breaking guitarist who has been credited as being a pioneer, if not THE pioneer of jazz rock fusion. Born in Galveston, TX, Coryell was living in Washington state by the time he was in high school, and it was in and around the Yakima area where he began playing in bands after graduating. During the fall of 1965, Coryell moved to New York City where he played and recorded with Chico Hamilton, and not long later, recorded and performed with Gary Burton. As the ’70s dawned, Coryell was combining the sounds of jazz, rock, and eastern music to make a style of music most had never heard before. He released his first album, Lady Coryell, in 1968, and what followed was nearly 50 years of recordings that have influenced several generations of guitarists – both rock and jazz. His recordings have also been very popular with hip-hop producers and can be heard through samples on recordings by J Dilla, Jurassic 5, and DJ Shadow, to name a few. Over the course of his career, he played on over 100 albums and continued to make his own music and tour up until the time of his death. Larry Coryell was 73 when he passed away in his sleep on February 20, 2017, reportedly of natural causes.
Thanks to Harold Lepidus for the assist.