Song:Smiles and Smiles To Go
Guitarist Larry Carlton was already a very successful studio musician when he decided to begin a solo career in the late 70s. He was very successful in the 80s with songs like Smiles and Smiles To Go. He was born Mar. 2, 1948 in Torrance, CA. He learned to play guitar as a child and got into jazz as a teen. His main influences are Joe Pass, Wes Montgomery, Barney Kessel and the classic Miles Davis album Kind Of Blue. He moved to Los Angeles in 1968 and he released his solo debut on UNI in 1968. Then he got into session work and he joined The Crusaders in 1971. Among the artists he worked with in the 70s were Helen Reddy, Barbra Streisand, Tom Scott, David Cassidy and Albert Hammond. He also got into film and TV work with Henry Mancini. Carlton's most significant performance from those days was his solo on Kid Charlemagne from the 1976 Steely Dan album The Royal Scam. Then Carlton released a couple of albums on Warner Bros. But what really launched Carlton as a solo artist was when the theme from the TV series Hill Street Blues became a top ten hit in 1980. Carlton played lead guitar. Carlton was also a member of the 80s band Fourplay. He moved to MCA in 1983. And Carlton had a lot of success in the 80s mostly on the jazz charts. Smiles and Smiles To Go is one of Carlton's most popular songs. It's from his 1986 album Alone/But Never Alone. On this album, Carlton plays acoustic guitar. Other musicians are Terry Trotter on keyboards, Abraham Laboriel on bass, Rick Marotta on drums and Michael Fisher on percussion. Smiles and Smiles To Go is on this 1988 budget comp. There is also a Collection Vol. 2 available. Carlton continued to record for MCA/GRP through the 90s. In recent years, Carlton has recorded on his own label 335 Records. He released a live album with David T. Walker last year. Carlton continues to tour as a leader and also with Fourplay. And he sells instructional videos on his website. Carlton has won numerous awards. He's one of those guys that even if you have never heard of him, You have heard him as he has played on so many records. Here's Larry Carlton performing Smiles and Smiles To Go at the 1990 Montreal Jazz Festival.