I was very fortunate to have worked with the “Godfather of Fusion” Larry Coryell in 2016, only months before his passing. He is one of the most influential guitar players of the 20th Century and beyond. His invention of jazz-rock electric guitar playing in the 1960s, was revolutionary and spurred an entire fusion movement that came of age in the 1970’s. In those days John McLaughlin & Mahavishnu Orchestra were a popular jazz fusion band, plus John was coming off of his huge success with the 1970 Miles Davis landmark album, Bitches Brew. At the same time, Larry was doing the same kind of music but was overshadowed by John McLaughlin’s success.
So, on a hot July afternoon, Larry came to my studio (Jungle Room Studios) and we worked together all afternoon on songs for my release Brian Tarquin & Company - Orlando In Heaven, a dedication to those who lost their lives at the Pulse night club shooting. We hit it off right away and had a one of kind experience recording. I was so thrown back when he gave me such a wonderful compliment about the music, saying, “By the way you're a very good guitar player man. Are those your compositions as well? Since Di Meola pasted the decal on my back of the Godfather of Fusion, the Godfather of Fusion gives you an A plus and your musicians too.”
I actually came late to the party concerning Larry and his music, having met him at the end of his life. As a young guitarist in the 70’s I was very influenced by the British Invasion including instrumental music, like Jeff Beck, Jan Hammer and Robert Fripp. In retrospect, I wish I had been more exposed to Larry’s music, but Larry Coryell and the Eleventh House was too sophisticated for a young kid my age. It took some maturity on my part to finally understand and appreciate the complexities of his composing. But of course, now I’m an avid fan of Larry’s music. One of the songs we recorded was “Tocar Madera,” which he really enjoyed playing on and compared it to one of his former students Al Di Meola, which I was honored. “Tocar Madera” is one of the creations that came out of the sessions and I count my blessings that I was given the opportunity to work with Larry and hear his wonderful stories.
About the Curator: Brian Tarquin
Multi Emmy Award winning Brian Tarquin is an established top rate composer/guitarist. He has won 3 Emmy's for “Outstanding Achievement in Music Direction and Composition for a Drama Series” and has been nominated for an Emmy 6 times. In 2019 Tarquin received a Global Music Gold Award for his release Orlando In Heaven for “Best Album.” Three years in a row (2016-2019) Tarquin received “Best Album of the Year” nominations from the Independent Music Awards for his releases: Guitars for Wounded Warriors, Orlando in Heaven, and Guitars for Veterans. On which, Tarquin shows his guitar prowess alongside such world-class shredders as: Steve Morse, Larry Coryell, Billy Sheehan, Bumblefoot (Guns N’ Roses), Reb Beach (Whitesnake), Chuck Loeb (FourPlay) to name a few. In 2006 SESAC honored him with the Network Television Performance Award. Tarquin has graced the Top Billboard Charts with such commercial releases as: This is Acid Jazz, Vol. 2, Sweet Emotions, and Bossa Brava: Caliente on Instinct Records, followed by several solo jazz albums, which charted Top 10 at Smooth Jazz Radio R&R and Gavin charts. Brian has appeared on 38 releases, selling over 140,000 records in his career.