Larry Coryell | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Larry Coryell

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Larry Coryell has been one of music's great enigmas since he first caught the public ear, in 1967, as part of the original Gary Burton Quartet. It wasn't just a question of whether he was a rock guitarist or a jazzer--in truth, he was helping to redefine both terms--but also a matter of just where the hell his unpredictable creativity would lead next. Over the last 20 years, that unpredictability has resulted in several inescapably brilliant recordings and performances, and some just as surely wretched; in every case, Coryell's wild-eyed fire and impulsive musicality have been on hand to collect either the credit or the blame. (After all, this is the guy who once titled a song "Wrong Is Right."). In recent years, however, Coryell has settled down considerably, recording in solo, duo, and quite mainstream quartet formats; his thoughts have stopped outracing his fingers (which in Coryell's case seems to be the equivalent of inner peace); and he has soldered craft to originality. The results can be transcendentally musical. Wednesday, Cubby Bear, 1059 W. Addison; 327-1662 or 477-7469.

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