Session guitarists are often the music world’s equivalent of baseball’s utility infielder—unheralded players whose talents are cloaked in anonymity. Ironically, however, such guitarists also tend to be supremely accomplished, possessing, as they do, the versatility and improvisational skills necessary to accommodate a wide range of styles. Some go on to make a name for themselves beyond session work, while others are content to maintain their roles as indispensable studio mavens. Larry is one player that represents both sides of that spectrum.
John Patten and John Kelman from All About Jazz have each covered the new album and their articles can be found at the following links:
John Kelman – http://tinyurl.com/5w2uatx
John Patten – http://tinyurl.com/6ywjvh2
Lee Mergner from JazzTimes has also wrote an article on the album which can be found here: http://tinyurl.com/6hpv4fa
Brian Soergel’s review at The Urban Music Scene can be found here: http://tinyurl.com/4mukp52
“Fresh on the heels of a Grammy award win for his collaboration with Tak Matsumoto, Take Your Pick, Larry Carlton doesn’t hesitate to answer why he chose to participate in a tribute album to the Sound of Philadelphia. “Every song was a great pop song,” says the guitarist. “Every song was a hit.” Carlton’s new album, Larry Carlton Plays the Sound of Philadelphia (335 Records) features the guitarist applying his distinctive string-bending to a set of material from the songbooks of Gamble & Huff and Thom Bell, who wrote a succession of hits for The Spinners, Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, The O’Jays and many other soul and R&B legends.”
Since 1963, the songwriting and producing team of Gamble and Huff has earned 175 gold and platinum records, defining an entire category of Black popular music known as “The Sound of Philadelphia.” They were inducted into the National Academy of Popular Music Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1995, and were awarded the prestigious Grammy Trustees Award from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences in 1999. This year marks the 40th anniversary of Philadelphia International Records.
Larry Carlton and his legendary guitar skills are backed by some amazing musicians including Paul Shaffer-organ, Tony DeSare-piano, Tommy Byrnes-rhythm guitar, Christopher Jackson-bass, Bill LaBounty-vocals, Andrea Valentini-drums, Vic Stevens-percussion, Mark Douthit-sax, Darcy Hepner-baritone sax, Steve Guttman-trumpet, Nick Marchione-trumpet, Dave Kirkland-trombone, and Chris Komer-french horn. This line-up brings these timeless classics back to life with a new twist that will make this unique record a must have.
Larry Carlton has won his 4th Grammy! He and Tak Matsumoto won “Best Pop Instrumental Album” for their collaboration “Take Your Pick.” It was Larry’s 19th nomination overall, and he was among a number of Nashville-based artists to win a Grammy this year.
Carlton sees the Grammy wins in disparate categories as an accurate barometer of the music scene in what was once viewed solely (though never correctly) as a country music town.
“Nashville has become one of the very important melting pots for musicians,” Carlton said. “I can’t tell you why we all ended up there, but we did, and a bunch of us there are participating in the music scene and influencing each other.”
There is a wonderful feature on Larry Carlton in this month’s issue of Nashville Arts Magazine, entitled “Larry Carlton: All the Right Notes” by Bob Doerschuk including some great photos from Anthony Scarlati. Here’s an excerpt from the article:
“My son, who was six years old at the time of the shooting, said to me, in his innocence, during my recovery, ‘Dad, why did they have to shoot you?’” Carlton says. “What came to me was, ‘Why not me? I’m just another daddy in this world.’ You can have an over-inflated ego about your talent, but none of us is special, in my opinion. The reality is that when I’m not playing the guitar I’m just the same as everyone else, trying to get it done correctly . . . just another daddy in this world.”
Larry Carlton and 335 Records are doing their part to assist Japanese recovery efforts after the recent earthquakes and tsunami. The guitar master has announced that he will donate five Gibson Custom Larry Carlton ES-335 guitars to help Japan.
Larry and the label are sending the guitars around the world to collect signatures from “some of the biggest stars.” The axes will later be sold at auction, with all of the proceeds going to relief efforts. Also, the guitarist and label have already donated thousands of items to benefit Japanese citizens.
Currently, Mr. 335 and his band are touring Japan on their Sounds of Philadelphia Tour 2011. Carlton and Co. will be playing in Tokyo through Tuesday, April 12. Carlton also recently announced a slew of European tour dates.
Larry Carlton European tour dates:
May 11 – Blue Note Milano – Milan, Italy
May 12 – Blue Note Milano – Milan, Italy
May 13 – Matosinhos Jazz Festival – Portugal
May 14 – Scala Ludwigsburg – Ludwigsburg, Germany
May 15 – International Guitar Festival Heinsberg – Germany
May 16 – Centralstation Halle EG – Darmstadt, Germany
May 18 – Metropool, Wemenstraat – Netherlands
May 19 – North City Jazz & Blues Festival – Kosovo, Serbia