Support All About Jazz

All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.


I want to help
300

Larry Carlton: Sapphire Blue

By

Sign in to view read count Views
Larry Carlton: Sapphire Blue 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 style that he is so renowned for.

Following was a lengthy and successful series of recordings for Warner Brothers and later for GRP, which was interrupted for a devastating gunshot wound in his Burbank studio, followed by long hospitalization and rehabilitation. Carlton has been the recipient of several grammy awards and nominations and is also a part of the quartet Foreplay, the popular smooth jazz combo, since assuming Lee Ritenour's chair in 1998.

Those expecting a smooth jazz performance from Larry Carlton may be in for a surprise. The easiest way for me to describe this album is to compare it to the Max Weinberg Band (on the Conan O'Brien late night show) with the Vivino Brothers. Carlton's guitar is the centerpiece for this funky and sharply paced setting. A large part of the ambiance must go to B-3 organist Reese Wynan, who raises the funk level whenever he's playing. Jazz drummer Billy Kilson (on loan from Dave Holland's group) delivers a crisp time keeping function on drums. Recorded in Nashville and released last year in Japan and China, this is a brand new US release (minus the bonus track, "335," from the Japanese version).

"A Pair of Kings" starts out deceptively as a smooth-ish melody, but first the horns creep in, followed by a Wynan solo, and we're totally cooking. Mark Douthit gets some soulful "Kirk Whalum-type" tenor sax solos and the album closes with a poignant duet between Carlton and Nashville harmonica veteran Terry McMillan (along with bassist Rhodes). Jim Horn's punchy horn arrangements keep the toes tapping throughout.

As a first effort for a new label, Carlton will garner many new friends and admirers, especially those who may have typecast him for previous efforts. Stylistically, I can hear some prime-time B.B. King on some of these solos.


Track Listing: Friday Night Shuffle, A Pair of Kings, Night Sweats, Sapphire Blue, 7 For You, Strictly Dirty, Just an Excuse, Take Me Down.

Personnel: Larry Carlton,guitar; Michael Rhodes, bass; Matt Rollings, Fender Rhodes; Reese Wynan, B-3 organ; Terry McMillan,harmonica; Steve Patrick, trumpet; Chris Dunn,trombone; Mark Douthit,tenor sax; Jim Horn, baritone sax, horn arrangements; Billy Kilson,drums; Eric Darken,percussion.

Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Bluebird | Style: Funk/Groove


Shop For Jazz

CD/LP/Track Review
Previews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
[no cover]
Unplugged
HighNote
2013
buy
Plays The Sound of Philadelphia
Plays The Sound of...
335 Records
2011
buy
Greatest Hits Recorded Volume One
Greatest Hits...
335 Records
2009
buy
Live in Tokyo
Live in Tokyo
335 Records
2009
buy
[no cover]
Incontournables
HighNote
2008
buy
[no cover]
Greatest Hits...
HighNote
2007
buy
Pat Metheny Pat Metheny
guitar
Joe Pass Joe Pass
guitar
George Benson George Benson
guitar
John Scofield John Scofield
guitar
Steely Dan Steely Dan
band/orchestra
Robben Ford Robben Ford
guitar
Earl Klugh Earl Klugh
guitar, acoustic

Larry Carlton Events

Date Event Time Tickets
Nov4Fri Larry Carlton
Towne Crier Cafe
Beacon, NY
8:30 PM
$6065

More Articles

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.