Earl Klugh Celebrates "The Spice Of Life"

Grammy Award-winning innovator and master of the acoustic guitar, Earl Klugh, is releasing a long-anticipated ensemble recording, "The Spice Of Life, " April 29th, 2008 on KOCH Records. The album is Klugh's first full-production release in nine years, and is the follow-up to his 2005 solo masterpiece, "Naked Guitar, " which drew Klugh's eleventh career Grammy nomination. Described by the Boston Globe - and a generation of music lovers - as "one of the most highly esteemed jazz guitarists in the world, " Klugh conceived "The Spice Of Life" as an omni-faceted celebration of a 30-year voyage as a trailblazing and inclusive force, uniting jazz, R&B and pop audiences. "I wanted to create something that would encompass a wide spectrum of directions: solo, standards, originals, electronic, acoustic and orchestral, " says Klugh. "I wanted to make a recording that would reflect where I am at this moment in my life, and something I am proud to present to my fans."

This new collection, inspired by the music of Klugh's life, represents a wide-ranging creative vantage point available only to a very rare circle of talents. "THE SPICE OF LIFE" plays through with the authority and impact of a greatest-hits album, and at the same time, the fresh discovery of a journeyman still in the prime of his creativity. Its release coinciding with the awarding of the Album of the Year Grammy to fellow master jazz eclecticist Herbie Hancock, "THE SPICE OF LIFE" responds to a marketplace calling out for substance and the guiding hand of art in pop music.

The many pleasures of "THE SPICE OF LIFE" encompass lush orchestration, warm and vibrant production, and original solo guitar compositions - all of these in Klugh's unfailingly positive, fresh and imaginative style. As ever, expanding the mind, refreshing the soul and evoking emotions - in short, heightening the experience and enhancing the environment of life itself - is the Earl Klugh signature. In an album full of highlights, Klugh reinterprets four of his favorite standards, and three-time Grammy winner and longtime collaborator Don Sebesky contributes five orchestral arrangements, including Earl's boyhood favorite "Canadian Sunset"; his reinterpretation of the Thelonious Monk classic, "Bye Ya"; and a beautiful, witty retro-style revival of "C'est Si Bon." Grammy-winning flute virtuoso Hubert Laws guests, and award-winning composer Eddie Horst arranges the chamber-group string accompaniment, on the Klugh original "Heart of My Life."

At a time when instrumental and vocal artists are under constant pressure to overuse the classics of the American pop-song canon, "THE SPICE OF LIFE" also features a clutch of memorable yet effortless Klugh originals, among them: the properly atmospheric "Ocean Blue, " "Driftin', " a warmly melodic pop piece; the forward-looking funk "Sleepyhead, " and "Snap!, " a taste of the "old school" suggesting Klugh's Detroit childhood, where he first encountered everyone from Yusef Lateef and George Benson to Motown Records' ace house band, the Funk Brothers.

"One of the solo pieces I wrote is directly in the style of Antonio Lauro, a classical guitarist and composer from Venezuela, " Klugh notes. "When I was young, there wasn't a lot of sheet music for classical guitar. Antonio's waltzes were some of the first transcriptions I ever had, and they are beautiful. I wrote and named the piece 'Venezuelan Nights' in honor of Antonio."

Klugh continues to be one of the most in-demand live artists globally. In 2007, Klugh introduced his concert series, Night of Guitars, featuring fellow guitar legends Bill Frisell, Russell Malone, Ray Parker Jr. and Peter White. He has recently returned from his second tour with The U.S. State Department and Thelonious Monk Institute in India. And this April 3rd, Klugh presents his 5th Annual Weekend of Jazz at the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, CO, joining world-renowned peers Ramsey Lewis, Boney James, Mindi Abair and fellow KOCH labelmate Sophie Milman.

Earl Klugh won the 1980 Grammy for Best Pop Instrumental Performance for the million-selling album "One on One" with Bob James, and "Collaboration, " his 1987 album with George Benson, was certified Gold by the RIAA. He has recorded over 30 albums in his multi-million-selling career, including four No. 1 albums on Billboard's Jazz Album chart and another 18 albums that charted in the Jazz Top Ten.

KOCH Entertainment, founded in 1987 and now in its twentieth year, is the leading and fastest-growing independent music company in the U.S. KOCH's operations encompass record and video labels as well as distribution companies in the U.S. and Canada. KOCH Entertainment is the market leader among independent labels and distributors in both the U.S. and Canada and its record label KOCH Records had the largest number of Billboard charting albums among independents for seven years in a row (2001 - 2007). KOCH Entertainment is a subsidiary of Entertainment One Ltd. which is listed on the London Stock Exchange's AIM market (ticker symbol "ETO").

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