Two of the greatest blues/jazz guitarists—Larry Carlton and Robben Ford—jam together live in Tokyo on “Rio Samba.” This performance was recorded at the Blue Note in Tokyo in 2006 and appears on the DVD Live in Tokyo: Larry Carlton with Special Guest Robben Ford. The band includes Travis Carlton on bass, Jeff Babko on keys, and drummer Toss Panos.
Larry Carlton’s “smooth jazz” style made him one of the most in-demand session players in LA during the 1970s and early 1980s. He recorded an average of 500 sessions a year with everyone from Steely Dan and Billy Joel to Michael Jackson and Barbara Streisand, and has won three Grammys. His guitar work on Steely Dan’s “Kid Charlemagne“ from their 1976 LP The Royal Scam is ranked as the third best guitar solo on record by Rolling Stone.
Robben Ford has played everything from folk-jazz (with Joni Mitchell) to fusion (with LA Express), Ford’s incredible versatility made him the perfect sideman for Joni Mitchell—he played on both Miles of Aisles and The Hissing of Summer Lawns. Although he made great jazz albums, as well, Ford always returns to the blues he learned at the feet of his early mentor, blues singer Jimmy Witherspoon.