Mosaic Records, known for its historic compilations of Blue Note recordings in either box sets or the Mosaic Select series, introduces its Contemporary line with this reissue of Earl Klugh's 1985 recording. At the least, it is a curious anomaly to all the label's other packages. At best, fans of Klugh will be happy to revisit tunes they may have only owned on vinyl. It's primarily the same syrupy orchestrations by Don Sebesky, the same lugubrious after-hours tempos, and Klugh's laid-back, mostly acoustic guitar framing movie themes, ballads, and an occasional standard. The solo acoustic takes of the swing evergreen "Ain't Misbehavin'" and an always bluesy "See See Rider" are still the standout cuts, flute beautifully leads and identifies the wondrous, poignant "Nature Boy" and "A Certain Smile," while oboe fronts the "Theme from Picnic."
This is the perfect setting for acoustic guitarist Earl Klugh, playing strong melodies (including such standards as "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes," "Laura," "Mona Lisa," and "Two for the Road") while joined by strings and several horns in an orchestra arranged and conducted by David Matthews. As usual for a Klugh session, the guitarist sticks mostly to the themes and does not improvise much, as he never considered himself a jazz player; but the overall effect is quite pleasing.