Thursday, February 23, 2017

Larry Coryell - 1976 - The Lion And The Ram

Larry Coryell 
The Lion And The Ram

01. Larry Boogie ( 3:32 )
02. Stravinsky ( 3:15 )
03. Toy Soldiers ( 7:40 )
04. Short Time Around ( 4:03 )
05. Improvisation On Bach Lute Prelude ( 2:00 )
06. Song For My Friend`s Children ( 2:46 )
07. Bicenntenial Headfest ( 3:19 )
08. The Fifties ( 3:26 )
09. Domesticity ( 2:12 )
10. The Lion & The Ram ( 4:25 )

- Larry Coryell / guitar
- Joe Beck / Fender Rhodes bass string synthesiser, acoustic Guitar on track 10
- Mike Mandel / piano, bass synthesizer
- Danny Toan / guitar on track 3
- Michal Urbaniak / violin on track 10

The Lion And The Ram or The Return Of Julie Coryell is a rather atypical album of Coryell in the late 70's, where his acoustic guitar runs all over his records, but here he's not solo and there are some tracks played with a group. Yes, Julie's back and not only on the artwork cover, but also on the lyrics (sung by her husband) and somehow, this album is credited as an Eleventh House production, but can't be at all likened to that formation, even if Mike Mandell plays on the album.
While the first two tracks (Larry's Boogie and Stravinsky, where you won't find obvious Strav homage), the later not of Side A are your typical Coryell tunes of the time, the albums takes on a different aura with the lengthy Toy Soldiers, where he multi-tracked himself and uses the 12 strings as well. Anthony Phillips solo career not being far away, here. The side-closing Short Time Around is a full-group track, where LC sings (but it seems that he's lost his rather correct voice of the early 70's, as here it's cringey), but the end result is stuck between an early Steve Hackett solo album (especially the electric guitar part) and then Anthony Phillips' solo albums again.

The Bach piece opening the flipside brings nothing new and helps again the A Phillips reminder. The following Friend's Children is an exciting duet with Joe Beck on bass. The same Beck plays in an acoustic duo in Bicentennial Fest. Fifties and Domesticity are small acoustic tracks that don't stand out much, but fit nicely. The closing title-track is a bit the alter-ego of Short time around ending the other side, therefore hovering between Hackett and Phillips's late 70's albums.

Probably the most interesting post-11th House late 70's acoustic guitar album for progheads, it is warmly recommended if you want to check out this era of his career.