Larry Coryell / The Wide Hive Players

Larry Coryell with the Wide Hive Players

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In 2011 a team of West Coast Bay Area musicians closely affiliated with the Wide Hive record label cut an album with legendary jazz fusion guitarist Larry Coryell. Decorated with wavy graphics that invoke the San Francisco music scene of the late '60s, Larry Coryell with the Wide Hive Players turned out to be one of Coryell's all-time mellowest offerings, and is recommended as all-purpose background music for gathering with friends to relax and chill. While most of the public response has been positive, a small amount of criticism (apparently triggered by preconceptions about both Coryell and the album cover art) conveyed impatience and disappointment that the music wasn't more aggressively psychotropic, although to lambast Coryell for not sounding like he did 40 years earlier seems rather pointless and even puerile. Furthermore, as many Bay Area residents could happily testify, there are lots of different ways to be psychedelic. The approach employed by Coryell and the Wide Hivers, for those who are willing and able to handle the absence of postmodern complexity, happens to have been all about grooving together and feeling good. In addition to producer Gregory Howe, Coryell shares composing credits with bassist Matt Montgomery, trombonist Mike Rinta, and saxophonist Doug Rowan. The friendly grooves would be ideal background for casual massage, meal preparation, or tooling around in your ride at any time of day or night.

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