Larry Carlton

The Larry Carlton Collection, Vol. 2

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Creatively, Larry Carlton has had his ups and downs over the years. The guitarist has recorded his share of throwaways, but when he really digs in and plays, Carlton can be thrilling. Spanning 1986-1996 and drawing on five of his albums, this compilation illustrates Carlton's ability to bore one minute and captivate the next. Carlton is at his worst on "Heart to Heart," "Those Eyes," and "Pure Delight," all of which are embarrassing examples of the sort of lightweight, passionless background Muzak he has stooped to recording at times. But on much meatier fusion offerings like "Honey Samba" and the insistent "Remembering J.P.," Carlton's sizable chops are put to good use. Very much a mixed bag, The Larry Carlton Collection, Vol. 2 would hardly be an ideal introduction to his work. Newcomers would do well to skip this CD in favor of 1986's Last Nite or 1989's On Solid Ground.

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