Sapphire Blue

Sapphire Blue

5.0 2
by Larry Carlton
     
 

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Guitarist Larry Carlton, best known for his session work with Steely Dan and his own popular smooth-jazz projects, may not be the first musician you think of when it comes to playing the blues. However, his superb picking on Sapphire Blue should foster a major change in perception. On eight blues-oriented tracks, Carlton lays down biting improvisations that…  See more details below

Overview

Guitarist Larry Carlton, best known for his session work with Steely Dan and his own popular smooth-jazz projects, may not be the first musician you think of when it comes to playing the blues. However, his superb picking on Sapphire Blue should foster a major change in perception. On eight blues-oriented tracks, Carlton lays down biting improvisations that practically jump off the disc, so emotive and skillful are they. Tempos vary, but Carlton is comfortable no matter the pace; his fast solos have a decisive snap, and his slow solos are deeply expressive. The title track, an extended slow blues, is a breathtaking feature for the leader, exhibiting his finesse and his taste in equal measure. There’s fine contributions from all involved -- drummer Billy Kilson, saxophonists Mark Douthit and Jim Horn (who also contributed the crafty horn arrangements) among them -- but attention never drifts too far from Carlton, who makes the most of his extensive solo space. In his album notes, he claims that he was given “complete creative freedom” on Sapphire Blue; obviously, he knew just what to do with it.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
Larry Carlton may not have been issuing records in the United States with any regularity, but Sapphire Blue proves he hasn't been sitting on his hands, either. It's Carlton's first blues-oriented album in many years. Featuring a large band with a complete horn section, Reese Wynans on B-3, Matt Rollings on Rhodes piano, Terry McMillan on piano, and others, Carlton is in fine, even understated form here. This group plays like a band with a soloist at its center, not like a bunch of paid hacks backing up a guitar whiz. Witness the gorgeous horn charts by Jim Horn on "Friday Night Shuffle," and the triple melody line in "A Pair of Kings." The laid-back, jazzy blues feel of "Night Sweats," with a memorable groove and minimal horn punctuations, leaves Carlton's guitar room to jam inside a warm space. The title track is a B.B. King-style groover -- à la 1970 -- with a stinging, slightly distorted guitar sound from Carlton. This isn't the blues, it is blues, played soulfully and with considerable musicianship that forgoes flash for feeling, albeit muted by pristine production. Carlton's fans may puzzle over this one a bit because of its concentration on aesthetic beauty and relative purity, but those who weren't paying attention should sit up and take notice. [The China import features the bonus track "335."]

Product Details

Release Date:
01/13/2004
Label:
Sony Mod - Afw Line
UPC:
0828765766722
catalogNumber:
57667
Rank:
14112

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Larry Carlton   Primary Artist,Guitar
Matt Rollings   fender rhodes
Eric Darken   Percussion
Mark Douthit   Baritone Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Chris Dunn   Trombone
Billy Kilson   Drums
Terry McMillan   Harmonica
Steve Patrick   Trumpet
Michael Rhodes   Bass
Reese Wynans   Hammond Organ

Technical Credits

Larry Carlton   Composer,Producer
Mark Capps   Engineer
Csaba Petocz   Engineer
Todd Gunnerson   Assistant Tracking Engineer
Jack Frisch   Art Direction
Aldo Ruggiero   Engineer

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Sapphire Blue 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It's been released in asia,,,,, well were still waiting here in the U.S. If your a guitarist you'll want all of larrys stuff, and theirs noplace like B&N to get it....
Guest More than 1 year ago
I saw 4 sets in NYC December 6th & 7th at the Iridium. The band & material are both exceptional. If this CD is 1/4th as good as the shows, it's Grammy material!