Larry Carlton (born Lawrence Eugene Carlton, March 2, 1948, Torrance, California) is an American jazz, smooth jazz, jazz fusion, pop, and rock guitarist and singer. He has divided his recording time between solo recordings and session appearances with various well-known bands. Over his career, Carlton has won three Grammy Awards for his performances and compositions, including the theme music for the hit television series, Hill Street Blues (1981).
Carlton started learning to play guitar when he was six years old, studying under Slim Edwards near his Torrance home. Taking an interest in jazz while at high school, his playing style was influenced by Joe Pass, Wes Montgomery, Barney Kessel, and B.B. King. Saxophonist John Coltrane has also made a notable impression on Carlton, and Carlton's live albums have featured cuts from Miles Davis's Kind of Blue.
During the 1970s and early 1980s, Carlton was a session musician in Los Angeles, making up to five hundred recordings a year, including albums by Steely Dan, Joni Mitchell, Billy Joel, Michael Jackson, Quincy Jones, The Four Tops, Christopher Cross, Barbra Streisand, the Partridge Family, and Charly García's Clics Modernos. His guitar...