Larry Coryell: The Dragon Gate


The Dragon Gate


Larry Coryell (guitar)


Spaces Revisited (Shanachie 5033)

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Larry Coryell (guitar), Bireli Lagrene (guitar), Billy Cobham (drums),

Richard Bona (bass)


Composed by Larry Coryell


Recorded: New York, February 1997


Rating: 90/100 (learn more)

The idea behind Spaces Revisited was to produce music that echoed Coryell's landmark jazz-rock album Spaces from three decades earlier. Spaces featured Coryell, John McLaughlin, Billy Cobham and bassist Miroslav Vitous, plus Chick Corea on one cut. As often happens with such projects, intentions are one thing and results are another. Coryell admits this in the liner notes. But to him this was a positive development allowing the band, using the same two-guitar lineup, to produce new music that kept nonetheless in the spirit of the original even if the music itself was not similar.

"The Dragon Gate" opens the album. The introductory guitar section has some bebop qualities. It is a catchy melody. With the opening statement out of the way, the tune heads into straight-ahead territory. While not a fusion piece, this is a high-caliber jazz performance. Coryell and Lagrčne are clear, clean and crisp, playing wonderfully off each other. Cobham also has things working as he pounds away propelling the affair. Several minutes of impressive trading ensue until the hypnotic melody returns and fades out.

Coryell took this band on the road after this recording. Their live performances were just as enjoyable as this great cut.

Reviewer: Walter Kolosky

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