Eleventh House featuring Larry Coryell: Kowloon Jag
Eleventh House featuring Larry Coryell
Larry Coryell (guitar),
Terumasa Hino (trumpet, flugelhorn), Mike Mandel (keyboards), John Lee (bass), Gerry Brown (drums).
Composed by Larry Coryell.
Rating: 90/100 (learn more)
By 1976, Gerry Brown had replaced Alphonse Mouzon in Eleventh House's drumming stool. Terumasa Hino had also taken over for Mike Lawrence on trumpet. Although Aspects also featured guest stars David Sanborn and the Brecker Brothers, they apparently do not appear on this cut. (The liner notes are vague.)
"Kowloon Jag" is one of the most impressive performances from Eleventh House. Its opening measures feature Coryell playing quickly strummed minor 9th chords interspersed with twisted blues licks before a cascading unison riff comes closing in. I have said it before, but will say it again. The trumpet in Eleventh House plays the same role the electric violin played in the fusion bands featuring Jerry Goodman and Jean-Luc Ponty. The opening section of the tune comes as closest to sounding like Mahavishnu as Eleventh House ever did. John Lee's bass lays the groundwork for a Coryell solo workout. Reverb, distortion, echo and Coryell's great speed create the perfect atmospherics that defined a classic fusion guitar explosion. Keyboardist Mandel starts off a trading contest that leads to a John Lee and then a Brown solo. The players gang up again to restate the tune's kick-ass theme, which serves as the coda.
There is no denying Eleventh House's importance in the history of jazz-rock. But if the band had more performances of such a caliber as "Kowloon Jag," they would have ranked even higher in the fusion pecking order.
Reviewer: Walter Kolosky