Collaboration is a smooth jazz studio album by George Benson & Earl Klugh released in 1987. The album was certified gold in the United States in February 1988.
This album has been a personal favorite since 1992 and I love it more everytime I experience it again. If you can appreciate this type of music in the first place you're going to have a wonderful time hanging out with Bob, Earl and the rest of the crew.
George Benson rebels against the machine and comes out with an all-instrumental album, his first in 11 years and also his first full teaming with onetime protege, acoustic guitarist Earl Klugh. Klugh sounds much more mature and forthcoming here than he did as a teenager in Benson's CTI days. Yet Benson still blows him away with his effortless swing, endless invention (within the constraints of the carefully controlled arrangements, however) and totally assured placement of the notes. "Mimosa" has some especially fluid work by Benson, with Klugh serving as an effective foil.
Acoustic guitarist Earl Klugh has always had an appealing sound. This early session was reissued as a Blue Note CD in the 1970s. The melodic music that Klugh creates is quite pleasant, and he is accompanied by fellow guitarist Lee Ritenour, a rhythm section, and occasional horns and strings.
HandPicked is a smooth jazz studio album by jazz guitarist Earl Klugh released on July 30, 2013. This is Klugh's first album of new material since he released The Spice Of Life in 2008 and it is also his first for the Heads Up label. This album showcases Klugh playing solo guitar on 13 of the 16 songs included here. Bill Frisell, Jake Shimabukuro, and Vince Gill all co-produced and played on one song each.
Although this CD gives the Earl Klugh Trio first billing, the guitarist's group is joined by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, a large string orchestra arranged by Don Sebesky. Except for the brief intros and interludes, the music is comprised of themes from movies. With Sebesky contributing arrangements that are sometimes saccharine, the program does sound like film music. Klugh has always had a pretty sound and that is very much in evidence, but he rarely ventures away from the melodies. Fans of the guitarist's usual recordings will consider this set a nice change of pace.
Thanks to its uptempo, Spanish guitar style, "Dr. Macumba" stacks up as one of Klugh's most compelling compositions. Those who enjoy "Dr. Macumba" will most likely find "Cabo Frio" and "Jolanta" among the CD's highlights, as well. "Long Ago And Far Away" is a pleasant, thoughtful take on a James Taylor tune, while "Dance With Me" is an equally appropriate remake of the Orleans hit.