FAME Review: Murali Coryell - Live (CD / DVD set)
Murali Coryell - Live (CD / DVD set)


Murali Coryell

Shake-It-Sugar Records - SSR01 (CD / DVD set)

Available from CD Baby.

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Mark S. Tucker

I needn't point out that this lad's surname issues from one of modern music's greatest guitarists, Larry Coryell, a temperamental genius player who apparently couldn't do as little as wake up in the morning without catching fire. There's no end of LPs and CDs carrying the guy in his own right, with 11th House, in duets acoustic and electric, and God only knows where all, but if you want to have the top of your head taken off, catch him on Tal Farlow's All String Attached, a VHS release criminally unrevived in DVD and out of print in CD, with Scofield, Carlton, and Abercrombie. Even Farlow, another god, was caught wide-eyed. You can almost hear him thinking "Holy Christ!" as he watches Coryell jump up from his chair and go to town. Thus, given that, you can imagine the kind of lessons his son received…but that's not to say they show all that expositionally here.

Murali, after all, is a rocker and a blueser, as is Larry's other son Julian, with a strong streak of funk-soul in him and, unlike Pop, is a singer who has quite a back-alley yowl on 'im, as you'll find out in I Can't Give You Up. Unlike Larry, Murali isn't all that interested in non-stop pyrotechnics, though he's capable of it (also heard in I Can't Give You Up), but rather in the baseline groove. When he does step out, however, dad's lessons start tearing through the fabric and modalities shift as he searches for new wrinkles. Still, don't expect a whole lot of soloing from the guy, he's much more into the languid tempos and environments of the blues, quite at home. Of course, then there's Lowell Fulson's Love Her with Feeling, where he digs in right away with riffery, setting up John Lee Hooker boogie while playing Buddy Guy's guitar.

This set is a CD / DVD combination, but, where one usually gets the documented version of the CD in such arrangements, Murali instead decided to have the visuals captured from a completely different gig of a couple years before, and I'm all for that. The DVD's taken from an outdoor concert in which Dave Fleschner's the fourth in the quartet, adding appreciably to the band's wider sound. Coryell's in top form here, even more so than the CD's New York date. I don't know who else was on the day's bill but have to suspect the presence of worthy competition pushed him to notch up…not to mention having Fleschner's additional baseline to stand upon. Thus you get more solos as well as a more dialed-in Coryell. Don't expect his dad's legacy, though—there's only one Larry Coryell—and you'll do just fine.

Track List:

CD #1: Live At Club Helsinki 2012CD #2: Live At The Roots And Blues Festival 2010
  • Introduction to in the Room With Jimi
  • In the Room With Jimi
  • I Can't Give You Up
  • I Could've Had You (Hambridge / Nicholson / Linden)
  • Softly Let Me Kiss Your Lips
  • Sugar Lips (Coryell / Hambridge / Fleming)
  • Love Her With a Feeling
  • Music Sets You Free
  • What's Going On (Benson / Cleveland / Gaye)
  • The Blues Is Taking Its Place
  • Closer to You Baby (Coryell / Hambridge)
  • Intro
  • Sugar Lips (Coryell / Hambridge / Fleming)
  • Minor Funk (Coryell / Hambridge)
  • In The Room With Jimi
  • Calling From Another Phone
  • Please Baby Please
  • The Blues Is Taking It's Place
  • The Same Damn Thing
  • Way Too Expensive
  • Bring It On Home To Me (Sam Cooke)
All songs written by Murali Coryell except as noted.

Edited by: David N. Pyles

Copyright 2013, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.
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