DOWNBEAT Editors’ Pick:
“Those who read the Editors’ Picks regularly know that I have a love for solo performance recordings—just a master artist, alone, making music. No pretense. No polish. Just music. Earl Klugh’s HandPicked is just such a recording and proof of why he is often called our greatest living acoustic guitarist. The album offers 13 tracks of Klugh at his solo best, plus three terrific duets with Bill Frisell, Jake Shimabukuro and Vince Gill. This set grabbed me from the first notes of the opening cut, an exquisite rendition of “Alfie.” It’s all tone and taste and makes you want to hit Play again and again. The same could be said for every tune on the record. If you’re a guitar player, HandPicked might send you back to the woodshed—or worse, make you want to give up. “Lullaby Of Birdland” follows “Alfie” gracefully with Klugh swinging gently and magically. The disc also includes stunning renditions of “’Round Midnight,” “But Beautiful,” “Morning Rain” and “This Time.” Each of the duets is extraordinary. Frisell and Klugh weave a hypnotic dream on “Blue Moon.” Klugh and ukulele master Shimabukuro transform The Eagles’ “Hotel California” into an 8-minute ode of loss and longing. And “All I Have To Do Is Dream” becomes a quiet lullaby for Klugh and Gill. HandPicked is a great first-thing-in-the-morning album: The mixture of hummable tunes and virtuoso musicianship makes it just the right thing to get the day started on a high note.” –DownBeat Editors’ Picks – FRANK ALKYER

Check out some of the latest comments and reviews coming in for HandPicked!

“No one should be surprised if HandPicked becomes one of guitarist Earl Klugh’s most successful recordings…” -JazzTimes

“[Klugh]’s always straddled genres; jazz, pop, Brazilian, and yes, occasionally, even country. …His versatility remains, his virtuosity has only deepened, and that’s abundantly clear on HandPicked.” – The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette