Larry Coryell

New High

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A better-than-average standards date, Larry Coryell's New High finds the guitarist in a supportive small-combo setting, playing a solid mix of some well-chosen standards and a fine pair of originals. The album starts off strong with new versions of Milt Jackson's "Bags' Groove" (starring Mark Sherman on vibes) and John Coltrane's "Like Sonny" that refrain from merely aping the originals, but use the well-known tunes as the springboard for a variety of restrained but never overly tasteful solos. Coryell's young sidemen could stand to be a bit more assertive, particularly drummer Yoron Israel, but pianist Ronnie Mathews does step into the spotlight on his own "John Charles," where he and Coryell trade some excellent solos over a light, swinging groove akin to Wes Montgomery's pre-Creed Taylor work. Larry Coryell has taken some heat from jazz purists for his too-regular forays into easy listening jazz-pop, but New High is a more-than-respectable piece of solid post-bop.

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