Free Spirits – Live At The Scene: February 22nd 1967

January 01, 1970



Before earning world renown as one of the most electrifying
guitarists in American bop, Larry Coryell was a member of a local NYC group
called The Free Spirits who is widely considered to be the very first act to
fuse rock and jazz into a cohesive unit of expression.


Their sound was one that brought the psyched-out, organ-heavy
vibe of such Metro area heroes as The Vagrants, The Hassles and Vanilla Fudge
to the improvisational landscape of the Village Vanguard circuit, rafting a
primitive version of a style that would reach a fever pitch in the 1970s with
acts like Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever and Weather Report. This 10
song live set, unearthed by the UK archive imprint Sunbeam Records, catches the
group at their youngest and most savage during an early 1967 performance at
Steve Paul’s mythical Midtown nightclub The Scene. Though the fidelity of the
recording is a B- audience capture
at best, this dynamic document serves as a potent glimpse into the uncanny
prowess of The Free Spirits at the peak of their game in a way their eponymous
studio debut from 1966 could never fully convey, augmented by impressive guest
turns from such fellow future jazz leaders as Randy Brecker, Joe Beck and Dave


Regardless of its fidelity, Live At The Scene is nevertheless a worthwhile slice of New York rock history that
any educated fan of fusion needs to check out.


Feel A Song”, “Sunday Telephone”, “Blue Water Mother”,
“A Night in Tunisia”



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