Earl Klugh

Late Night Guitar/Two of a Kind/Nightsongs

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BGO's 2013 three-fer combines three albums smooth jazz guitarist Earl Klugh recorded in the early '80s for EMI-affiliated albums: 1980's Blue Note LP Late Night Guitar, the 1982 Bob James duet Two of a Kind, which appeared on Manhattan Records, and 1985's Nightsongs, which appeared on Capitol. Each of these records has a slow, low-key pace although each has their own flavor. Late Night Guitar feels like a solo affair even when Klugh is supported by others, while Two of a Kind can't help but bear the stamp of James, whose gorgeous, slinky electric pianos colors everything here, including the times when Klugh runs up the fretboard; James is such a prominent presence he can't help but be felt. Nightsongs splits the difference between the two albums on the first disc; it's not as spare as Late Night Guitar but isn't a collaboration like Two of a Kind -- it's nimble, sleek, and full, gaining strength from its robust (sometimes overly accentuated) production, that never, ever ignores the prominence of Klugh's fleet fingers, which remains the primary reason to hear any of these three records.

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