Bob James & Earl Klugh, One On One (1981)
Hip-hop crate-diggers have rightly restored some sense of reverence to the name Bob James – after a decade or so of being written of as just a soft-jazz proponent. I don’t think the same will ever happen to Earl Klugh – the restored reverence that is. Soft-jazz. It’s the yacht-rock it’s not okay to like, no ironic hipster attachment here, no hooks or smart-ass Pina Colada-sipping tales here. Just musicians trying far too hard to sound like they’re hardly trying as they softly burn themselves into the tracks. It’s probably audiophile nonsense – some dork with his 100grand speakers telling you that you haven’t lived until you’ve heard Earl Klugh’s klean
lines man! Fuck that noise. Or rather – that distinct lack of noise. I don’t know what’s wrong with me – and please don’t start guessing now, it’s far too late – but for my sins I’ve decided to come clean and admit to a partial love of soft-jazz, that polite dinner-jazz nonsense from the 70s and 80s. It’s layover from being in the background at wine-cooler and Tupperware shindigs when I was a child I guess. It’s – sometimes – about the appreciation of truly great players too (even if their idea of taste is questionable at best). It’s as near as I’ll get to having any sort of guilty-pleasure. I bought this because of an interest in Bob James far more than for Earl Klugh. Because fuck Earl Klugh!
Sample Track: The Afterglow
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