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5th August 2013

Tribune Review - The Road Ahead


Albare (Enja)

Music by the group led by Albare Dadon is quite a bit more exciting than the work of fellow guitarist Earl Klugh on these two albums. But both recordings are good looks at work on the six-string instrument. Albare's “The Road Ahead” is a Pat Metheny-tinged look at world-music-flavored jazz done by a quartet. The material is mostly by the guitarist with, in five cases, the help of pianist Phil Turcio. The only known number is Stevie Wonder's “Overjoyed,” which features a vocal by Allan Harris. Klugh's “Hand Picked” is quite a bit warmer, but not nearly so adventurous. It consists of 13 solo versions of well-known songs and duets with guitarists Bill Frisell and Vince Gill along with banjoist Jake Shimabukuro. The material, which includes “Cast Your Fate to the Wind,” “Going Out of My Head” and “Lullaby of Birdland,” all is pleasant and well played. But its studied inoffensiveness tends to push it into the background-music category. Too bad. Klugh deserves a better listen.

— Bob Karlovits

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