Larry Carlton teams with veteran studio guitarist (in his home country of Japan) Tak Matsumoto, who achieved international recognition in a rock band called TMG. A jazz disc, most of the tunes here feature them playing the melody together before each takes a solo.
Matsumoto tips his cap to his partner on “Jazzy Bullets,” a fullout stomper with changes and parts borrowed from older Carlton tunes. Both rip through the changes with ease. There’s also a reworking of his classic instrumental “Nite Crawler.” This time, “Nite Crawler 2010” has a nice exchange between the two and a biting solo by Carlton with his trademark sweet, bluesy feel.
The record delves into smooth jazz with airy ballads and light funk, always with hook-laden melodies, and gets stronger down the stretch, with “side two” supplying some of the strongest material. There’s nothing earth-shattering here, but Carlton fans will appreciate the songs and approach.
This article originally appeared in VG‘s Nov. ’10 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.