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Hot! Episode #6

Episode #6

Recording Date: April 30, 2003
Location: Sigma Sound Studios, Philadelphia

Musicians:
Larry Carlton – Guitar
Joey DeFrancesco – Organ
Gerald Veasley – bass
Byron Landham – Drums
Chris Farr – Saxophone
Emedin Rivera – Percussion

Songs:

St. Thomas                                   BUY
Misty                                           BUY
Cold Duck Time                           BUY
Beautiful Love                             BUY

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Any list of some of the most influential guitarists in modern times would most certainly have to include Larry Carlton. In his 40+ years in the music business, he has performed on literally thousands of  recordings and has worked with a virtual “who’s who” in the business…from the Crusaders to Steely Dan to James Brown to Michael Jackson to Quincy Jones…name whoever you like, and chances are Larry has most likely worked with him at one time or another. He is a 4-time Grammy Award Winner and 19-time Grammy Award Nominee. No surprise then that he would be high on my list of target musicians to feature on Studio Jams.

I began with a little research to learn that Larry was in fact a big fan of B3 organ master Joey DeFrancesco. Upon learning that, I decided to first reach out to Joey to see if he would like to tape another session with us – this time with Larry Carlton. Joey quickly said yes. I then sent an invite out to Larry through his manager, and a couple of days later I received a commitment from Larry as well. Needless to say, I was thrilled.

Larry Carlton

Next, I called my good friend Gerald Veasley and asked him to join us on bass. Gerald had been on the show before, so I knew what to expect from him. I then called Philly-based drummer Byron Landham, a musician who can swing with the best of them. He also has worked with Joey in the past. He, too, signed up right away. Wow, I thought…this session was really coming together quite nicely.

Depending on the make-up of our lineup, I sometimes like to add a horn and/or percussion to these sessions, just to add additional color and spice. With that in mind, I then added Chris Farr on saxophones and Emedin Rivera on percussion.

Joey DeFrancesco

So here was the complete “band”…Larry Carlton on guitar, Joey DeFrancesco on B3 organ, Gerald Veasley on bass, Chris Farr on saxophones, Byron Landham on drums and Emedin Rivera on percussion.

Joey started things off by suggesting St. Thomas. They only spent about 5 minutes talking through an arrangement and off they went. We recorded 2 outstanding takes of the song…with blistering solos by Joey, Larry and Chris. Larry was clearly having a blast.

Next, Larry thought it would be great to play the Errol Garner classic Misty – but as a shuffle. Wow! After about 10 minutes of rehearsal, they a cut a track that, to this day, is perhaps my overall favorite Studio Jams take that we have ever recorded. The arrangement was tight…the solos from Chris, Joey and Larry were all fresh, dynamic and colorful…and the rhythm section was spot on from the first note to the last. It still gives me chills every time I hear it. We recorded a 2nd take of it just for safety.

Joey DeFrancesco and Larry Carlton

After Misty, Joey suggested Eddie Harris’ Cold Duck Time. That, too, took but a few minutes to pull together. Rehearsals just weren’t an issue with these guys. They basically called out a tune, took a couple of minutes to talk a little about the arrangement – the basic form, how to start it, how to end it, and the turnarounds – and just took off running. It was amazing how quickly they all got on the same page – each and every time.

After a short break, Joey suggested a song called Beautiful Love, one that was a bit unfamiliar to Larry. But, no problem at all for him. He simply “learned” it as he played the take. The musicianship was so incredibly high that day, and it was such a joy watching these masters work. It just doesn’t get much better than this.

– Tom Emmi / Producer


“The best show on television, hands down. Ridiculous jams get put together. Love it!”

— T.A.