Carlton: "Last Nite"
"This live set is one of Larry Carlton's best recordings
because the guitarist stretches himself. Joined by keyboardist
Terry Trotter, bassist Abraham Laboriel, drummer John
Robinson and percussionist Alex Acuna (and an occasional
three-piece horn section), Carlton plays five- to eight-minute
versions of four originals (including "The B.P.
Blues"), plus Miles Davis's "So What"
and "All Blues." Recorded at the Baked Potato
in North Hollywood in California, Carlton is heard throughout
at his very best, making one wonder why he has recorded
so few albums of a similar spontaneous nature in his
Green: "Grant's First Stand"
"Grant Green's debut album, Grant's First Stand,
still ranks as one of his greatest pure soul-jazz outings,
a set of killer grooves laid down by a hard-swinging organ
trio. For having such a small lineup -- just organist
Baby Face Willette and drummer Ben Dixon -- the group
cooks up quite a bit of power, really sinking its teeth
into the storming up-tempo numbers, and swinging loose
and easy on the ballads. The influence of the blues on
both Green and Willette is strong and, while that's far
and away the dominant flavor of the session, Green also
displays his unique bop phrasing (learned by studying
horn players' lines, rather than other guitarists) to
fine effect on his high-octane opener, "Miss Ann's
Tempo," and Willette's "Baby's Minor Lope."