Larry Coryell (born Lorenz Albert Van DeLinder III; April 2, 1943 – February 19, 2017) was an American jazz guitarist known as the “Godfather of Fusion”.
Larry Coryell was born in Galveston, Texas. He never knew his biological father, a musician. He was raised by his stepfather Gene, a chemical engineer, and his mother Cora, who encouraged him to learn piano when he was four years old.
In his teens he switched to guitar. After his family moved to Richland, Washington, he took lessons from a teacher who lent him albums by Les Paul, Johnny Smith, Barney Kessel, and Tal Farlow. When asked what jazz guitar albums influenced him, Coryell cited On View at the Five Spot by Kenny Burrell, Red Norvo with Strings, and The Incredible Jazz Guitar of Wes Montgomery. He liked blues and pop music and tried to play jazz when he was eighteen. He said that hearing Wes Montgomery changed his life.