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Tracey Coryell: Reviews

Larry Coryell, Inviting Timeless Classics to This Party

Saturday, March 29, 2008; Page C08

Guitarist Larry Coryell will celebrate his 65th birthday a few days early tomorrow night at Blues Alley -- cake, candles and all. Fittingly, he opened his Power Trio's engagement at the Georgetown club on Thursday with a performance inspired by some of his early compositions and influences.

For starters, there was "Good Citizen Swallow," a piece that Coryell wrote in the '60s. Fresh, spirited and played with deceptive ease, the arrangement was marked by the guitarist's spiky intervals, 16th-note flurries, octave runs and funk accents, as well as by bassist Mark Egan's sleek, vibrato-capped lines and drummer Paul Wertico's snapping syncopations.

Coryell later paid tribute to Thelonious Monk with two performances, including a rendition of "Trinkle Tinkle" that combined the composer's signature traits (jarring dissonances, stuttering cadences) with subtle guitar-bass interplay and Wertico's fluid swing. A Wes Montgomery salute found Coryell playing a thoroughly evocative, thumb-powered, octave-laced rendition of "Bumpin' on Sunset."

Coryell put down his arch-top guitar long enough to perform an unplugged solo version of "Our Love Is Here to Stay," a lyrical interpretation bracketed by sparkling, finger-tapped harmonics.

The Power Trio performances, which included Egan's insinuating ballad "Tricycles," were actually more notable for their finesse than force, with Coryell occasionally assuming the role of a pianist, sparsely outlining the harmonies while Egan soloed on his five-string bass. Punctuating the opening set was a brief blues interlude featuring singer Tracey Coryell (the guitarist's wife), who managed to make "Gimme One Reason" sound both sultry and defiant.

-- Mike Joyce
"Emotional Rollercoaster"
Genre: acoustic
reviewed by Wendy McDowell

Right away I am struck, slack jawed -- by the solid-hook song writing style and powerful vocals of Tracey Piergross. Her 11-song CD "TraceyLand" is chock-full-of radio friendly material. Her sultry vocals are peppered with just the right amount of sincere passion that makes that little space between your collarbone and your breastbone quiver ever so slightly. Diving into the alto range then soaring up with comfortable ease, she makes you believe every word she sings. If I'm digging for comparisons, put this girl on Ally McBeal. She'd give Vonda a run for her soundtrack. Sexy, poppy, marked with a little bit of growl -- not to mention some incredible session players, "TracyLand" gets five out of five.