Larry Carlton & Steve Lukather: No Substitutions
With this release, the twosome garners strong support from drummer Gregg Bissonette, bassist Chris Kent and keyboardist Rick Jackson as the musicians let their hair down in front of the recognizably receptive Japanese audiences. And while some might assume that this recording is all about flashy pyrotechnics and slick picking burners, that notion perhaps represents the antithesis of this production. Here, the duo renders compassionate lines and bluesy choruses while also exhibiting a flair for the dynamic atop a multitude of disparate interludes, whether bold and raucous or quietly subdued in scope and demeanor.
Larry Carlton’s lyrically rich and euphonic “Room 335” reaps a mild overhaul thanks to the twin lead attack while the band commences the set with a blistering fourteen minute version of Jeff Beck’s “The Pump”. Essentially, No Substitutions presents the listener with a bit more than a nuts and bolts approach, as the guitarists perform either exuberantly or tenderly atop the often burgeoning funk/rock backbeats and shifting momentum. Hence, students of the guitar may derive some additional value here, as Carlton and Lukather also demonstrate the virtues of restraint and nuance! Recommended!
Track Listing: The Pump, Don
Personnel: Larry Carlton; guitar (left side): Steve Lukather; guitar (right side): Gregg Bissonette; drums: Chris Kent; bass: Rick Jackson; keyboards
Record Label: Favored Nations