Get this crazy baby off my head!


Larry Carlton With Special Guest Robben Ford

Larry Carlton With Special Guest Robben Ford - Live In Tokyo - 2007 - 335 Records

This disc was given to me by Larry himself after his concert at Sambucca Jazz Club in Atlanta, GA on May 22, 2007. The challenge is to review the disc on the merits of the disc and not let the concert influence me. The idea of two guitar legends, Carlton and Ford, together for a live collaboration, celebrating over thirty years of friendship is something remarkable in itself. Add to the mix, that between the two of them, the extent of their composing and recording credits would require a separate hard drive on this web site and you have some high expectations. But this is Larry Carlton, and with him is Robben Ford, and there was never a doubt that it would be a great disc. "That Road" by Ford is a funky grooving number that let the two settle into each other. The rhythm section of Travis Carlton, Larry's son on bass and Toss Panos on drums held a tight pocket while Larry and Robben harmonized and played back and forth off each other, giving the listener the sense that this was going to be a case where one plus one equals more than three! Ford and Carlton's styles are very different but where they overlap is in their foundation in the blues, riffs bore the signature of each player. They really were playing together, comping and filling tightly. They were warming up! "Burnable" is classic Carlton, it even starts with that LA funk groove that is so characteristic of Larry's composing. Again the rhythm section just put down the palette for Ford and Carlton to spread their colors over. Babko's work on the keys is ever present but never gets in the way of the delivery of the textures and styles that Ford and Carlton are exchanging. When they get funky, Babko is there to fill it up for them. "Cold Gold" starts off slow and melodic, a duet of guitar greats, their signature sounds overlayed. Then the soloing starts. And the completeness of their blues sensitivity is heard. Carlton's solo is powerful and crisp. When the hand off comes, it is clear that they are preaching to the choir, Ford, takes a completely different approach to the song and the changes, but in the end, their messages are the same. Great blues played by two of great guitarists of our times. "Rio Samba" opens showcasing Travis' funky style. He rolls into this song with a tight funk groove setting the scene for some classic Carlton-style rambling. Babko's keys are an integral part of the theme of this one and really do keep the tune together. Ford and Carlton trade off leads and take you on a really fun ride. The diversity of these two players makes this disc a real experience to listen to. No two songs the same, and yet they share so much. Just like the composers and players, different in their treatment of the same themes. The overlap is indisputable, but the individuality is dominant. On "Derrick's Blues", Ford delivery belies just how powerful this song is. Ford's treatment of the song, and the injection of Babko's solo to create the change of the mood is just great band work. The clarity and precision of the solo execution is why you buy this CD. Two masters of touch and technique. Just sit back and drink in the notes! By "Two Bad" you start to feel the changes coming, and just when you think you know how Larry or Robben will treat the solos, they mix it up. Harmonizing, and starting and finishing each other's phrases. Its as if they feel what each other is feeling and just express it differently, but the energy is the same. Technique being the operative word in this piece. How they do what they do is as important as who is doing what! Its a master class led by two of the real masters. "Talk to your Daughters" is a Lenoir/Atkins composition that features Ford on vocals, and it is a fun romp through the blues. Lots of energy, lots of fun to listen to, you can tell they are now having fun with each other, collaborating, no jamming with each other. You are now hearing what these two love to do with the blues. So one plus one should equal two, but when those two are Carlton and Ford, the sky is the limit and you will not be disappointed. Great music, by great musicians. Thanks Larry, for a great disc, some great music and a great show! © Charles Vecoli © 1997 - 2007. All Rights Reserved. © jazzreview.com / jazzpreview.com

The history of jazz includes unlikely but successful collaborations as well as examples of people who should have gotten along but didn't. Miles Davis' economy, restraint and understatement were quite a contrast to John Coltrane's lengthy, stream of consciousness solos, and yet, they made great jazz together. Stan Getz and Chet Baker had a lot in common musically and should have collaborated time and time again; however, they couldn't stand one another. And then there are musicians who know they have a lot of musical common ground and act on that knowledge, which is what guitarist Larry Carlton and singer/guitarist Robben Ford do on this live disc (which was recorded in Tokyo, Japan in September 2006). The fact that Carlton and Ford (who knew each other from Tom Scott's L.A. Express back in the mid-'70s) have a lot of common ground does not mean that their guitar playing is identical; Carlton is essentially a jazzman who has been greatly influenced by rock, soul, funk, and blues, while Ford is essentially a bluesman who has been greatly influenced by jazz, rock, soul, and funk. Neither are purists -- Carlton isn't a jazz purist any more than Ford is a blues purist -- and the fact they have eclectic tastes as well as similar tastes makes them logical allies musically. Live in Tokyo cannot be neatly lumped into any one category; jazz, blues, rock, and funk are all part of the musical equation, and Carlton and Ford clearly enjoy a strong rapport on memorable performances such as Carlton's "Burnable" and Ford's "That Road." Ford doesn't do a lot of singing on this 64-minute CD; in fact, "Talk to Your Daughter" is the only vocal offering on a mostly instrumental disc. Live in Tokyo is a rewarding example of what can happen when two musicians who have much in common musically get together. © Alex Henderson © 2012 Rovi Corp | All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/album/release/live-in-tokyo-mr0002170152

Recorded live in Tokyo Japan in September 2006. This is an astonishing performance of blues and jazz rock from two of the world's greatest guitarists, backed by a superb rhythm section. The album features six instrumentals and two vocals from Robben Ford. SQ is great and the album is VHR by A.O.O.F.C. Listen to Robben's "In Memory of Michael Bloomfield" album, and Larry Carlton / Steve Lukather's brilliant "No Substitutions: Live in Osaka" album. If you haven't heard Steely Dan's "The Royal Scam" album, give it a listen. Larry Carlton's guitar solo on "Kid Charlemagne" is total perfection. It's taken over 35 years for some guitarists to work out what Larry Carlton nailed in a couple of takes [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 160 Mb]


Larry Carlton - Guitar
Robben Ford - Guitar, & Vocals on Tracks 7 & 8
Travis Carlton - Electric Bass
Jeff Babko - Keyboards
Toss Panos - Drums


1 That Road - Robben Ford 7:47
2 Burnable - Larry Carlton 11:17
3 Cold Gold - Larry Carlton 10:33
4 Rio Samba - Larry Carlton 10:43
5 Derrick's Blues - Robben Ford 9:39
6 Two Bad - Larry Carlton 8:08
7 Talk To Your Daughter - Alex Atkins, J.B. Lenoir 6:22
8 Too Much - Gabriel Ford 6:06


Tom said...

Lovely album. I especially loved "Two Bad", I've been playing it over and over since I downloaded it. Thanks once more for a new musical avenue to explore.

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi,Tom. Glad you like the album. Larry Carlton is in my top 10 of greatest guitarists. Have you heard his Kid Charlemagne solo? TVM, & TTU later...P

Tom said...

Yes, I'm a big Steely Dan fan, although I confess to not knowing that Larry Carlton played that solo.

A while back most of my possessions - including my CD collection - were in storage for several months during a prolonged house move. Of the five CDs I had kept with me in my car, the only one I never got tired of was Steely Dan's Countdown to Ecstasy, and especially the masterpiece King of The World which I reckon I've listened to a couple of hundred times in the last nine months!

Garry.L said...

Have to say Paul, that Robben Ford is in my top 3 if not at the top.
More than likely because I prefer blues more than jazz, & R.F. plays both. Thanks for the disc, i'm sure it's great...................


A.O.O.F.C said...

Cheers,Garry. They both play blues and jazz. Larry has played on some really crap commercial albums, but his Kid Charlemagne solo makes up for all that! TVM and catch you later...P

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi,Garry. It's interesting that you like King Of The World So Much. It's worth reading the history of that song and how the continuous guitar theme was laid down on the track. I love all the Dan's albums, but if was pushed I'd go for The Royal Scam. Thanks for your comments, and TTU later...P

douglas Z said...

Olá Paul.
File not found fron Rapidshare.
Please look there.

A.O.O.F.C said...


Alt. link @ http://uploaded.net/file/ou9z7zks

TVM & TTU soon...Paul