Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Album: Eric Clapton, Clapton (Reprise)

Eric Clapton's last couple of albums have been collaborations, with J J Cale and Steve Winwood respectively, and it's fair to say that the success of Clapton derives in part from the extension of that collaborative spirit into the solo arena.

There's little of the guitar grandstanding for which he's most celebrated – indeed, Cale and Doyle Bramhall II are just as likely to take solos – while the arrangements pay equal attention to the contributions of Allen Toussaint, Wynton Marsalis and the New Orleans horns, which bring an authentic antique feel to several tracks. Clapton is in relaxed mood throughout, on a largely unplugged programme that mingles a handful of obscure old blues numbers, a couple of Cale classics, and warm standards by the likes of Hoagy Carmichael and Irving Berlin.

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