EARL KLUGH, HAND PICKED


photo by Tanner Photography
After more than 30 recordings and award winning collaborations, Earl Klugh remains one of the most tasteful and accomplished guitarists around. Unlike his recent group efforts, Hand Picked (Heads Up) is a mostly solo effort featuring old school standards and four breezy originals played with Klugh’s customary charm and one-of-a-kind sound. Deceptively spare, his interpretations of “Alfie,” “Cast Your Fate To The Wind,” and The Beatles “If I Fell” are soft and gentle with easy going tempos, over which Klugh adds light-as-a-feather improvisations. The album is highlighted by two particular duets. Guitarist Bill Frisell first met Klugh back in 2007 when they were playing in a guitar trio along with Russell Malone. The mutual admiration between these guys is tangible on their sonically blissful version of “Blue Moon.”  Then there’s the dazzling ukelele player Jake Shimabukuro who sits in with Klugh for a delicately tuneful 8-minute take on “Hotel California. Though it may confound jazz purists (the sixteen tunes are generally brief, favoring quality over quantity), Klugh’s introspective album is essentially a valentine to his fans, one that’s sealed with a cover of “This Time,” a Klugh original with a profound melody that lingers. (16 tracks; 53 minutes)

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JAZZ IN SPACE: EARL KLUGH, HAND PICKED

Monday, August 5, 2013

EARL KLUGH, HAND PICKED


photo by Tanner Photography
After more than 30 recordings and award winning collaborations, Earl Klugh remains one of the most tasteful and accomplished guitarists around. Unlike his recent group efforts, Hand Picked (Heads Up) is a mostly solo effort featuring old school standards and four breezy originals played with Klugh’s customary charm and one-of-a-kind sound. Deceptively spare, his interpretations of “Alfie,” “Cast Your Fate To The Wind,” and The Beatles “If I Fell” are soft and gentle with easy going tempos, over which Klugh adds light-as-a-feather improvisations. The album is highlighted by two particular duets. Guitarist Bill Frisell first met Klugh back in 2007 when they were playing in a guitar trio along with Russell Malone. The mutual admiration between these guys is tangible on their sonically blissful version of “Blue Moon.”  Then there’s the dazzling ukelele player Jake Shimabukuro who sits in with Klugh for a delicately tuneful 8-minute take on “Hotel California. Though it may confound jazz purists (the sixteen tunes are generally brief, favoring quality over quantity), Klugh’s introspective album is essentially a valentine to his fans, one that’s sealed with a cover of “This Time,” a Klugh original with a profound melody that lingers. (16 tracks; 53 minutes)

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