Larry Coryell had a flair for fast finger work and loud sound

Born in Galveston, Texas, as a child Larry Coryell played the piano and as a teenager he picked up the guitar, when growing up in Washington. He studied journalism at the University of Washington and moved to New York where he joined drummer Chico Hamilton's band that included the legendary guitarist Gabor Szabo, whom Coryell eventually replaced.A flair for fast finger work and loud sound saw him lean towards jazz, leading to his founding the Free Spirits, a jazz-rock group. After a brief stint with Gary Burton, he recorded Memphis Underground with Herbie Mann. Coryell was wide-eyed on seeing the guitar wizardry of Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton with Cream. In the late 60s, he toured the US and Europe with former Jimi Hendrix Experience drummer Mitch Mitchell, his own keyboardist Mike Mandel and ex-Cream bassist Jack Bruce. At the turn of that decade, he teamed up with Chick Corea, John McLaughlin, Billy Cobham and would-be Weather Report bassist Miroslav Vitous to record Barefoot Boy, a tribute to Hendrix On the lines of the Mahavishnu Orchestra, he set up Eleventh House. Playing acoustic guitar he toured with session guitarist Steve Khan and former Focus guitarist Philip Catherine. His musical experiments left him dissatisfied and he quit playing the electric guitar for a while. His affinity for traditional jazz had a reawakening in the 80s and 90s that saw him jam with pianists Kenny Baron and Stanley Cowell, drummers Billy Hart and Beaver Harris and bassists Buster Williams and George Mraz. During his exploration of Brazilian music, he cut Live From Bahia a blend of funk, rock, samba, African and Caribbean rhythms. His most recent combination includes sons Julian and Murali, calling themselves the Coryells.A. GEORGE ANTONY