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LIVE REVIEW

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 ...

ALBUM REVIEW

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 ...

PREVIEWS

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.

ALBUM REVIEW

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 ...

ALBUM REVIEW

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 ...

ALBUM REVIEW

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 ...

ALBUM REVIEW

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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