Down Beat (p.73) - "[He] uncorks riffs on self-penned instrumentals that generate drama ranging from serene awe to brash exhilaration."
JazzTimes (p.86) - "[E]ven when Carlton's guitar is dripping with nasty distortion...it still cuts through with emotional directness."
Although guitarist Larry Carlton is known primarily as a smooth-jazz performer, both solo and with Fourplay, his roots are in session work with pop/rock artists, most notably Steely Dan and Joni Mitchell. On 2006's FIREWIRE, Carlton gets back to his rock beginnings, offering up a set of tunes that focus on the energetic side of his playing. Aiding Carlton in this musical about-face is producer Csaba Petocz, who has been in the studio with acts such as Elvis Costello and Metallica, and here leads the six-stringer in a bold, assertive direction. Also joined by prolific drummer Matt Chamberlain and other top-tier musicians, Carlton leans into the shuffling "Inkblot 11," indulges in Jimi Hendrix-like riffing on "Naked Truth," and sinks into a deep blues groove with "Surrender." More in line with albums by Joe Satriani and Steve Vai than anything in the easy-listening vein, FIRE WIRE highlights the adventurous aspects of this expert guitarist.