Larry Carlton – Alone/But Never Alone (1986)

FrontCover1.jpgLarry Eugene Carlton (born March 2, 1948) is an American guitarist who built his career as a studio musician in the 1970s and ’80s for acts such as Steely Dan and Joni Mitchell. He has participated in thousands of recording sessions, recorded on hundreds of albums in many genres, for television and movies, and on more than 100 gold records. He has been a member of the jazz fusion groups The Crusaders and Fourplay and has maintained a long solo career. (by wikipedia)

One of the few smooth jazz artists of the ’80s to make music that’s simultaneously melodically substantial and sonically contemplative, Larry Carlton hit a career high on 1986’s Alone/But Never Alone. Playing only acoustic guitar (with electric bass, drums, and synthesizers on most tracks), Carlton neatly sidesteps the twin pitfalls of new age mush and smooth jazz showboating, playing neatly phrased, well-thought solo lines against a variety of melodic and rhythmic backgrounds.

Larry Carlton (1987)A

The acoustic focus gives the album a timeless quality, even though a few tracks feature synthesizer lines that betray their mid-’80s origins, and the obviously spiritual quality of the music (song titles include not only the higher-power-oriented title track, but “Smiles and Smiles to Go” and “Perfect Peace,” and the centerpiece track is an instrumental setting of a common tune for “The Lord’s Prayer”) is becalming without being drippy or pillow-soft. This is not an album that will change the mind of those dead-set against smooth jazz, but it’s a small masterpiece of the genre. (by Stewart Mason)

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Personnel:
Larry Carlton (guitar, bass, keyboards)
Michael Fisher (percussion)
Abraham Laboriel (bass on 01., 05. + 07.)
Rick Marotta (drums)
Terry Trotter (keyboards on 05. + 08., synthesizer on 01.)

Booklet

Tracklist:
01. Smiles And Smiles To Go (Carlton) 5.48
02. Perfect Peace (Carlton) 4.28
03. Carrying You (Carlton) 4.00
04. The Lord’s Prayer (Malotte) 5.10
05. High Steppin’ (Carlton) 5.44
06. Whatever Happens (Withers/Carlton) 4.28
07. Pure Delight (Carlton) 5.33
08. Alone/But Never Alone (Carlton) 3.34

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