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Fire Wire

3.8 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Audio CD, February 28, 2011
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Editorial Reviews

Fire Wire by Larry Carlton

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 28, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: RCA Victor
  • Run Time: 60 minutes
  • ASIN: B000EBGF0Y
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #138,161 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
LC is many things to many people. For all, he is a consummate guitarist with tone, phrasing, and note choice to die for. So you know where I'm coming from, my introduction to LC was with "Last Nite" which is still my favorite and is the standard by which I judge (subconsciously and consciously) his other albums. If you like "Last Nite" you should also like "Fire Wire." Similarly, if you're a Beck fan (Jeff Beck, of couse, who else??) from the Wired, Truth, Blow by Blow era you will like this album. Although not as twisted as Beck, it has the same cool vibe and the touch that only LC can bring to the table.

Fire Wire is rock oriented with elements of blues, jazz, and funk fused and sprinkled throughout. He also has a top notch horn section (sapphire blue) backing him, which is too cool for school. If you're a tone connoissuer this album has the magic. Maybe its the Dumble amplification. Maybe its the touch. Maybe its the Gibson ES-335. Either way, this album has the goods when its comes to tone and production. In this respect, the song "Naked Truth" is worth the price of admission. Although LC will sound like LC no matter what equipment he uses, there just is a richness to the sound on Fire Wire.

This is not, however, the smooth jazz that some may expect from LC from times more recent. It has rough and ready R&R, softer contemplative moments, and get up and dance grooves. For ME, this is the second step in his comeback that commenced with Sapphire Blue (a great blues based album with horns!). LC garnered quite a following with his smooth jazz explorations, but they never quite delivered for ME. I always wanted something more because I've seen him tear down the house in concert and wanted that vibe back in his studio efforts. This is it. Run don't walk to buy this one!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I don't know what the other reviewer was listening to, but this is a new CD of new songs. Unlike recent self-produced efforts, Larry turned over the production to veteran producer Csaba Petocz, who has dozens of platinum albums to his credit. Having worked with artists as diverse as Ted Nugent, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Metallica, Etta James, Elvis Costello and Aaron Neville, you can expect Petocz to encourage Carlton to wade into his rock and roll roots.

This isn't your father's Smooth Jazz Larry -- but "Sunrise" will appeal to all, with a quiet, soulful acoustic minor blues.

"Surrender" is Larry at his best, introducing the melody with with signature 335 tone, followed by a searing solo that is classic Carlton.

"Inkblot" is a throwback in some respects, featuring a horn section, strong unison riffs and some Zappa-like turnarounds.

"Big Trouble" probably shows more of Petocz' hand in the project. If you ever wondered what Carlton's tone would sound like if he were in say, Black Sabbath, here's your chance.

As you would expect for a major label with big-time producer, this is a more polished version of Larry Carlton. Keeping to his pattern of recent years of alternating "smooth jazz" releases with items that tend to be more aggressive, Fire Wire shows his more uptempo side with the rough edges polished to a commercial rock standard -- all without sacrificing the thing that makes Larry Carlton a guitar player's guitar player. His choice of notes and unique tone make him a living legend and Fire Wire just reaffirms Mr. 335's status as one of the greats.
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Format: Audio CD
If you want smooth jazz don't buy this CD. If you want to get down 'n dirty then buy this CD and crank up the volume! I was not expecting such a straight-ahead hard driving set of tunes from Larry Carlton and I too relish Sapphire Blue, however as a rocker from the 60's and 70's I am so throughly enjoying this CD with it's mix of rock, jazz and blues that I'm buying copies for many of my friends on my Christmas list. Get Down - Get Funky - Get Fire Wired!!!!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is not your typical smooth jazz Larry Carlton you may be used to. LC has changed his format to a rock-based fusion on "Firewire", and I found it to be exciting.

His tasteful use of guitar distortion is almost his signature tone, and LC accomplishes this quite well on several of his cuts from "Firewire".

"Inkblot", the first cut, is a uniquely rocking melody that juxtaposes itself within the song, which makes it one of the most listen-to songs on the CD. There are other cuts that are note-worthy, but the one that stands out the most to me is "Naked Truth", which is a slow blues-fusion number that although somewhat predictable, uses the best elements of Carlton's tone, phrasing, and beautiful poise in each and every note.

There are no mistakes that might occur in a live performance, and the production is not overdone. LC is captured in each song extremely well.

The only reason I didn't give this CD 5 stars is because there are other performer's works who stand out more. I apologize if this sound like I am knocking LC's efforts; I am not. This CD by itself deserves 5 stars. I am basing my opinions on more notable efforts on a relative scale. Larry Carlton has created one of his best rock-jazz-fusion efforts to come down the pike in a while. I would recommend this CD to anyone who wants to hear good rock-based jazz.
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