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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classy songs by a classy Guitarist
Tune after tune is played with class and style. Faithful to the original arrangements but also with a fresh twist of interpretation. Enjoy. Larry Carlton ex of the Crusaders shows why he is still one of Smooth Jazz Guitars superstars!
Published on 12 May 2011 by Vernon Fuller

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Radio friendly,easy on the ear, pretty and innocuous.
Larry Carlton is arguably the most influential guitarist over the last 30 years.
His latest album "Larry Carlton Plays The Sound of Philadelphia" is a tribute to the material from the songbooks of Kenny Gamble and Leon 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...
Published on 9 Jun. 2011 by write to zack


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Radio friendly,easy on the ear, pretty and innocuous., 9 Jun. 2011
This review is from: Plays the Sound of Philadelphia (Audio CD)
Larry Carlton is arguably the most influential guitarist over the last 30 years.
His latest album "Larry Carlton Plays The Sound of Philadelphia" is a tribute to the material from the songbooks of Kenny Gamble and Leon 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.
The "making" of the album was quite unusual.
The most surprising thing about the CD is that Larry was the last man in. The album was almost completely recorded and produced by Billy Terrell, who had cut the tracks thinking that he was going to have a vocalist sing the tunes for this tribute to the Philly soul sound.
"Somehow over the course of a year and a half or two years after they had cut the tracks, Terrell changed his mind," explains Carlton. "It didn't come to fruition. Either he didn't find the right vocalist or he just got turned off to that idea. And that's when my name came up. `What if we had Larry Carlton do these as instrumentals?'
The tracks were done. The arrangements were meticulous. That's how it came about. He came to me and said, `Hey, man, would you want to be the voice, except do it instrumentally".
" And I said, `Of course, great songs".
That's the reason why eventually you do not feel a very strong and hearfelt inner vibe in this record and you may not get any "brotherly love" from this release.
" " Philadelphia is a city that is ALIVE! Philadelphia is vibrant, energetic and full of passion - everything this disc lacks.
So what happened? Bad song selection?
"The Sounds of Philadelphia" falls apart in the arrangements. Instead of trying to capture the spirit and musical pulse of this iconic catalog, Carlton opts for radio friendly pop infused arrangements that are the boring core that plagues "smooth jazz" today. The arrangements here strip the heart and soul from some of the most energetic and legendary music the world has ever heard.
The last spade of dirt on this musical corpse is tapped down in post production. "Sterile" is the best way you may describe the over all sound and feel of this release. Antiseptic. A sonic flat line.
But it is "nice" music which dances dangerously close to easy listening.
If you like a handful of tasty guitar licks mixed in with some rather sterile sounding r&b infused jazz then you may find something good in this release" ". B. Black
Musicians: Larry Carlton: guitar; Tony Desare: piano; Paul Shaffer: organ; Tommy Byrnes: rhythm guitar; Christopher Li'Nard Jackson: bass; Andrea Valentini: drums; Vic Stevens: percussion; Bill Labounty: vocals; Carla Benson: background vocals; Charlene Holloway: background vocals; Mark Douthit: saxophone; Darcy Hepner: baritone saxophone; Steve Guttman: first trumpet; Nick Marchione: trumpet; Dale Kirkland: trombone; Chris Komer: French horn.
The CD will do well on the Smooth Jazz charts, but for sure Larry Carlton, the guitarist that we all know and admire, can do much better than that.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars At a supermarket near you, 17 May 2011
By 
A. R. Durham "Top Dog Max" (Wiltshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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Oh dear. For someone as gifted and legendary as Larry Carlton, he has produced some pretty horrible solo albums in his career, and this is one of them. This is sadly, the epitome of smooth jazz muzak that got jazz a bad name when it began to be played repeatedly in LA cafes and bars, and spread throughout the world like german measles.

That LC could play with edgy musicians like Jaco Pastorius or Robben Ford - and then ends up on drivel like this is disappointing.

The idea is pretty solid - and that is turn Philly hits from the 70's into jazz workouts. Indeed - some of Philly's own labels stars did this themselves - try MFSB's Mysteries of the World , or Dexter Wansel's Voyager to see how original the results were. However, LC's attempt is just boring playing to a background of mid tempo fuzak - populated by smooth jazz nonentities. It has LC's name on it, but could be anybody playing.

To think LC has recorded two of the greatest guitar solos in popular music (Steely Dan's "Kid Charlemagne" from Royal Scam, & the Crusaders "Spiral" from Those Southern Knights) - and now he resorts to this......I suspect there is a marketing strategy or some ghastly corporate agenda involved.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classy songs by a classy Guitarist, 12 May 2011
By 
Vernon Fuller (St Helens, UK) - See all my reviews
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Tune after tune is played with class and style. Faithful to the original arrangements but also with a fresh twist of interpretation. Enjoy. Larry Carlton ex of the Crusaders shows why he is still one of Smooth Jazz Guitars superstars!
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