Eleventh House featuring Larry Coryell - Level One
Wounded Bird 4052
This is another long-awaited debut on CD of an late-period original-era fusion classic, which was originally released 38 years ago in 1974 (and which was the album the band was touring when I saw them twice: Once opening for the Bill Connors-era Return To Forever and once as headliners over the Allan Holdsworth-era Soft Machine(!!). The group is: Larry Coryell - guitar, Mike Mandel - keyboards, Michael Lawrence - flugelhorn, trumpet, John Lee - bass, Alphonse Mouzon - drums. Some really wild keyboard/trumpet bursts of melodic lines here give this a distinctive sound of the fusion era and Alphonse plays crazy great.
"This was the follow-up to the legendary Introducing the Eleventh House recording. While it never achieved the classic status of its predecessor, it is an excellent follow-up that captures the band at their creative and technical peak. From the whimsical "Diedra" to the intense "Nyctophobia," Coryell leads his group with an understated refrain. He has always been at his best when acting as an equal within a group's space rather than as the centerpiece. His one indulgence here is the pretty, acoustic guitar solo "Eyes of Love." Of particular interest on this recording is the ferocious drumming of Alponse Mouzon, who displays a style of speed and power that rivals that of Billy Cobham. This is a forgotten gem from the fusion era."-Robert Taylor/All Music Guide