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Larry Coryell, Jazz Guitarist, Dies at 73

Image: Larry Coryell, Jazz Guitarist, Dies at 73

Musician Larry Coryell in Stuttgart, on Nov. 7, 2012. (Salih Külcü/Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Tuesday, 21 Feb 2017 12:29 PM

Larry Coryell, the legendary guitarist known as the "Godfather of Fusion" jazz, died Sunday at 73 after performing two shows this past weekend at New York City's Iridium Jazz Club.

Jazz publicist Jim Eigo wrote in a statement to Billboard magazine that Coryell died in his in sleep from natural causes in his hotel room. Coryell released more than 60 albums over his career and is acknowledged as the pioneer of combining jazz with rock music.

Coryell played with the 1970s fusion band The Eleventh Hour along with collaborating with many of the best known names in jazz, including Miles Davis, Gary Burton, Alphonse Mouzon, Ron Carter, and Chet Baker.

"In the mid-to-late '60s, Coryell broke down genre barriers with his eclectic, fluid playing and experiments with melding plodding rock rhythms with spacious jazz chords," wrote Kory Grow, of Rolling Stone magazine.

"His breakthrough, 1969's 'Spaces,' featured a who's who of the nascent fusion genre's innovators, including guitarist John McLaughlin, pianist Chick Corea and drummer Billy Cobham – all of whom would play on Miles Davis' landmark 1970 fusion LP 'Bitches Brew.'"

Coryell was born in Galveston, Texas, in 1943, but grew up in the Seattle area and pursued a journalism degree from the University of Washington after high school, Guitar World reported. Coryell, who started playing the piano at age 4, took private guitar lessons in college and invested in classical guitar lessons when he moved to New York City in 1965.

He formed the psychedelic band Free Spirits in 1966 and three year later recorded his game-changing album "Spaces," Guitar World noted.

Coryell toured until his passing, releasing his album "Barefoot Man: Sanpaku" last October and is set to appear on the upcoming Eleventh House release, "Seven Secrets," on June 2.

Coryell's fans and fellow musicians shared their condolences on social media.

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Larry Coryell, the legendary guitarist known as the Godfather of Fusion jazz, died Sunday at 73 after performing two shows this past weekend at New York City's Iridium Jazz Club.
larry coryell, jazz, guitarist, dies
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2017-29-21
Tuesday, 21 Feb 2017 12:29 PM
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