Larry Coryell reunited with members of the Eleventh House, his old band, at the Blue Note for the first of a series of shows on July 14th. The membership of the original band has changed over time. This incarnation brought together three original members, including Randy Brecker on trumpet and Alphonse Mouzon on drums. Along with them was Julian Coryell, Larry’s son, who was with the band occasionally in 1999.
Julian Coryell at times seemed to be trying to fill in the gap left by missing original member Mike Mandel, whose keyboard roles were replaced by guitar synths. Another link to the original band was the funky drumming and songwriting of Alphonse Mouzon. John Lee, on bass, had played with the Eleventh House from 1974-76 and again with a reunion band between Coryell and Mouzon in 1977.
The Blue Note is an intimate venue and the synergy among the players was obvious. Often, there were great visceral interactions, as demonstrated by John Lee’s musical segues with the guitarists. Larry Coryell’s joy while playing with some of his old friends was obvious too.
Most of the songs played were from the group’s first album, Introducing the Eleventh House, and were written by either Coryell or Mouzon with one notable exception, “Rodrigo Reflections,” a Coryell solo, which appeared on several albums.
If Larry Coryell had ever been concerned over the relevance of his music, the enthusiasm of the audience’s response to the music will have easily dispelled any such concerns.