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Earl Klugh: The Journey

Earl Klugh’s lighter than air, super dextrous guitar play is in typically fine form on The Journey (Warner Bros., 2-46471-A; 51:34), with sunny pieces like “All Through the Night” and the blithely Caribbean “Fingerdance” providing enough vintage Klugh to draw the fans in. As always, Klugh’s melodies are bright and easy to take in, and every now and then his gleeful soloing warrants some extra attention. However, Klugh has also inserted some added attractions for this “journey,” in the form of some slight, happily unexpected variances in direction. While “4 Minute Samba” bubbles with Paulinho Da Costas deep percussion underneath Klugh’s fleet fingerwork, the album’s title tract has a richer, thoughtful texture brought to life with strings and acoustic piano. Although these nice touches add depth, don’t expect a radical departure-Klugh is still a player who can make even a track called “Evil Eye” sound gleeful.

Originally Published