Larry Carlton

Deep into It

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Some of jazz' finest musicians join guitarist Larry Carlton on Deep Into It, his second CD as a leader for the Warner Bros. Jazz label. Carlton wrote six new songs for this offering, and covers such songs as "Put It Where You Want It," written by Joe Sample, and the Stevie Winwood hit "Roll With It." Accompanying musicians are Chris Potter on saxophone and Billy Kilson on drums, both known primarily for their work with the Dave Holland Quintet; Harvey Mason, who holds down the rhythm logic on "I Still Believe"; and smooth jazz phenom Kirk Whalum, who turns in a great solo on the title track, on tenor saxophone. The two tenor saxophonists are highly capable in different approaches, and Carlton makes good use of both Potter and Whalum throughout the program. R&B hitmaker Shai lends his soulful vocals to "I Can't Tell You Why," and truly gives the Eagles' mega-hit a fresh interpretation with his one-of-a-kind artistry. Carlton's updated interpretations are a nice mixture of smooth, pop, and jazz guitar stylings, making for very creative listening on the beautiful "Closer to Home." His mellow tones and picking techniques are but two of the most fetching aspects of this work, as well as his new phrasings and smooth sound. These characteristics -- tone, phrasings, the shape of his underlying musical ideas, and the ability to connect emotionally with the listener -- are a few of the differences between Deep Into It and Carlton's previous effort, Fingerprints, and are all solid reasons for adding this CD to your smooth jazz collection.

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