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Heart String (1978)

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Victor Lewis

To dismiss an Earl Klugh recording as easy listening is unfair. Klugh is one of the most inventive and accomplished guitarists to emerge from the 1970s. His discography has been heavily criticized in jazz circles, and for the most part deservedly so, as not qualifying as true Jazz music (based on improvisation). The spirit of jazz has always been that of improvisation, which is why Klugh has argued against himself being labeled a "jazz" musician. Labels aside, Klugh's brilliance has been overlooked because his releases have been on the softer side. The music here is full of heavy strings, funky backbeats and that '70s sound, but that is the charm of this recording. Klugh's "Acoustic Lady" is an infectious song and showcases his harp-like sound on the guitar. While it may be classified as easy listening, it is certainly not easy playing. A very beautiful and warm recording with enough guitar playing to keep even the most advanced players baffled. ~ Robert Taylor