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Boston Roundup: Larry Carlton, Brit Floyd, and Doyle Bramhall

Read "Boston Roundup: Larry Carlton, Brit Floyd, and Doyle Bramhall" reviewed by Dave Dorkin

Larry Carlton Bull Run Shirley, MA December 2, 2017 Larry Carlton came to play in a rare quintet setting at the Bull Run in the Boston Western suburbs. The band featured Carlton's son Travis on bass and drummer Gene Coye, both frequent collaborators, along with the noteworthy additions of Gregg Karukas on keyboards and Brandon Fields on tenor saxophone, both of whom are rarely on the road as sidemen these days. Carlton opened ...

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Larry Carlton: Plays The Sound of Philadelphia

Read "Plays The Sound of Philadelphia" reviewed by John Kelman

Regardless of context, guitarist Larry Carlton has built a reputation as one of the tastiest guitarists around, whether he's supporting singer/songwriter Joni Mitchell, jazz/pop hybrid Steely Dan or soulful jazz/funksters The Crusaders. His own records, while always accessible--at times, crossing the line into smooth jazz territory--demonstrate a distinctive blend of sweet and gritty tone, bluesy soulfulness, and plenty of jazz chops, often surfacing in the most unexpected places. Live in Tokyo With Special Guest Robben Ford (335 Records, 2009), was ...

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Larry Carlton Revisits Sounds of Philadelphia

Read "Larry Carlton Revisits Sounds of Philadelphia" reviewed by John Patten

Soulful sounds may have started in Motown or Memphis, but for many, it's the sounds of Philadelphia that captured their hearts. That's certainly the case for Larry Carlton, who released a collection of the biggest hits penned by Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff on his 335 Records label, in February, 2011. Many of the songs were Top 10 hits by groups including The Spinners and The Stylistics, along with hits by other classic vocal groups.

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Larry Carlton: Greatest Hits Recorded Volume One

Read "Greatest Hits Recorded Volume One" reviewed by John Kelman

Since emerging as a ubiquitous session ace--his sweet tone and lyrical bent creating some of the 1970s' most definitive guitar solos for artists including The Crusaders, Steely Dan and Joni Mitchell--Larry Carlton has combined unerring melodic instincts and stunning harmonic knowledge into a discography as accessible as it is deep. For some, he's veered too close to the border of smooth jazz--crossing over, even--but get past the easygoing rhythms and changes, and there's far more than meets the eye. Not ...

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Larry Carlton With Special Guest Robben Ford: Live in Tokyo

Read "Live in Tokyo" reviewed by John Kelman

With blues/jazz guitarist Robben Ford's Soul on Ten (Concord, 2009) receiving widespread attention, it's a good time to look at Live in Tokyo, a somewhat overlooked but unmistakably smokin' 2007 release from another West Coast guitar god, Larry Carlton. Carlton invited Ford to join his band for some dates in Tokyo in the fall of 2006, and it would be hard to find two more compatible yet distinctive guitarists for a set that ranges from down-and-dirty blues to burning samba ...

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Larry Carlton: Fire Wire

Read "Fire Wire" reviewed by John Kelman

If veteran session guitarist Larry Carlton's Sapphire Blue (Bluebird, 2004) was a first shot at the bow of those who'd written him off as too smooth, Fire Wire is a veritable volley. Sapphire Blue found Carlton in a more energetic, blues-based context, but his trademark singing tone still spoke the language of jazz. Leaving all such references behind, Fire Wire is more rock instrumental than jazz fusion--and the rawest album he's made in his forty-year career.

The laid-back minor blues ...

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Larry Carlton: Fire Wire

Read "Fire Wire" reviewed by Sarah Moore

Steely Dan session musician and former Crusaders member Larry Carlton brings another dose of fusion with his latest release, Fire Wire. The followup to his 2004 album Sapphire Blue includes a horn section named after that CD. The disc begins with an upbeat, hard edge that takes you worlds away from the smooth, complacent jazz guitar sound you might have expected from earlier recordings. With a style evoking Stevie Ray Vaughan's blues in “Double Cross, Carlton breaks free from the ...

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Larry Carlton: Sapphire Blue

Read "Sapphire Blue" reviewed by John Kelman

Yet another artist finds himself on a new label and the experience refreshes and reinvigorates. Earlier this year it was Mike Stern and late last year it was Terence Blanchard; in the case of guitarist Larry Carlton, he has signed with one of the few remaining majors that is not afraid to let its artists have full creative control. Bluebird/BMG is, of course, the label that has given Dave Douglas complete artistic latitude and now, with Sapphire Blue, Carlton, while ...

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Larry Carlton: Sapphire Blue

Read "Sapphire Blue" reviewed by Michael P. Gladstone

Fans of veteran guitarist Larry Carlton will be interested in his latest career move. Carlton's multifaceted guitar work has been evident after decades of sterling studio work in Los Angeles as well as many solo recordings which go back as far as 1968. He has been the guitarist of choice for many pop and rock performers including the Steely Dan group in the late 1970s. Recording and touring with the Crusaders during the early 1970s, he developed the famous blues ...

LIVE REVIEWS

They Came to Play - Larry Carlton & The Sapphire Blues Band

Read "They Came to Play - Larry Carlton & The Sapphire Blues Band" reviewed by AAJ Staff

Larry Carlton & The Sapphire Blues Band The Iridium, New York City December 4, 2003

They came to play. The U.S. debut of Larry Carlton & The Sapphire Blues Band was spectacular. The horn section alone blew the doors off of New York City's popular jazz club, The Iridium, located at 51st & Broadway.

My brother Addison (an alto player) and I snuck in just in time as Troy at the door escorted us to a ...

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Larry Carlton and Steve Lukather: No Substitutions - Live in Osaka

Read "No Substitutions - Live in Osaka" reviewed by Scott Andrews

Longtime L.A. studio guitarists and friends Larry Carlton and Steve Lukather lead a quintet rounded out with keyboards, bass, and drums on five instrumental tracks recorded live in Osaka, Japan.

No Substitutions opens with the Jeff Beck tune “The Pump," featuring repeated guitar solos over a long, static bass groove of steady eighth notes. After a blissfully contrasting quiet middle section, the song plods on to its total length of over 14 minutes. The next track, a 12:8 shuffle called ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Larry Carlton & Steve Lukather: No Substitutions

Read "No Substitutions " reviewed by Glenn Astarita

No Substitutions – Live in Osaka marks the first live performance collaboration by these seminal Southern California-based studio guitarists and group leaders. Guitarist Steve Lukather’s long term involvement with the pop band, “TOTO” amid countless sessions has made him perhaps one of the busiest and most sought after musicians on the West Coast, as the same could be stated for guitarist Larry Carlton. According to the public relations information: “The combined sales totals of the albums that Carlton and Lukather ...


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