In a way, this album is long overdue. Fans have gotten used to hearing Carlton play the blues at his shows. In fact, he admits that these performances are a high point as much for him as they are for his audience. "It doesn't matter what they've come to hear," he explains. "When I play the blues, that's when I most passionately connect with them and with my guitar." "Sapphire Blue" proves the point. Backed by a crisp rhythm section and buoyed by Jim Horn's razor-edged horn arrangements, Carlton stretches out on a set of original, groove-driven tunes with that unique blend of melodic inventiveness, singing tone, and swing that define his style as well as the best elements of playing the blues. "There are some sophisticated harmonies in these compositions -- after all, I was born in 1948, not in 1920," he points out. "But "Sapphire Blue" is mainly about saying more with less, with making major statements in a basic format. I've always admired that quality; even when John Coltrane was doing his most advanced harmonic things, you could break his statements down to something elegant, something you could easily hum." "Sapphire Blue" is an extremely important milestone in Carlton's career.
|Friday Night Shuffle
|A Pair Of Kings
|7 For You
|Just An Excuse
|Take Me Down
|Tenor Sax & Solos
|Horn Arrangements, Baritone Sax
|Art Direction, Design
|Recorded at The Sound Kitchen, Nashville, Tennessee, April 3 & 4, 2003.
Mixed at The Panic Room, Los Angeles, California.
Horns recorded at The Sound Shop, Nashville, Tennessee.