Larry Carlton may not have been issuing records in the United States with any regularity, but Sapphire Blue proves he hasn't been sitting on his hands, either. It's Carlton's first blues-oriented album in many years. Featuring a large band with a complete horn section, Reese Wynans on B-3, Matt Rollings on Rhodes piano, Terry McMillan on piano, and others, Carlton is in fine, even understated form here. This group plays like a band with a soloist at its center, not like a bunch of paid hacks backing up a guitar whiz.
Graham nods to 80s dance music on "I Feel Good" and the title track (present in vocal and instrumental mixes), using a variety of special effects - overamplified fingersnaps, pitch-wheeled synth, and most criminally, Moog bass - that just scream "1982!" Otherwise it's basically a mix of Just Be My Lady mawkishness ("Let Me Come Into Your Life"; "You're My Girl") and Star Walk underwritten jams ("Don't Stop When You're Hot"). George Duke produced two cuts, the ballad "Still Thinkin' Of You" and the jive, slap-pop funk "Walk Baby Walk," and it's a very bad sign that his work is no worse than Graham's... that's what they call in the finance biz a "negative leading indicator."
Larry Carlton and Steve Lukather share the stage once again in this exceptional live recording at the famous Blue Note in Tokyo Japan. This 7 song concert features amazing tunes such as the famous Robert Johnson Crossroads and The Beatles While My Guitar Gently Weeps. The talent level of these two legends when paired together is unparalleled.