Spanning more genres than most guitarists his age, Larry Coryell was there when jazz-rock fusion made its first appearance. Although largely unacknowledged, Gary Burton's mid-'60s work for RCA found Coryell playing with an edgy rock-inflected tone that was just as responsible for a new era in jazz as Miles Davis's commonly cited fusion classics In a Silent Way and Bitches Brew. By the end of the '60s, Coryell would be touring with ex-Cream bassist Jack Bruce and drummer Mitch Mitchell, a vital member of the Jimi Hendrix Experience.
Never content to stand still, Coryell abandoned his electric sensibilities for much of the '80s in favor of a gentler, equally accomplished acoustic sound while touring with the likes of Paco De Lucia and John McLaughlin. Regardless of genre, however, Coryell's chameleon-like abilities have allowed him to fit into any situation, including a recent appearance in Spain, where he felt right at home during a salute to some of the world's greatest guitarists, including B.B. King, Robbie Robertson, Bob Dylan, and Les Paul. Among the 60 or so albums that appear under his own name, the recently released Cedars of Avalon (HighNote) finds Coryell working the mainstream tradition in a way that only he can manage, and it just might be his best album of recent vintage to boot.