Out this week are are new compilations on the Mosaic label, featuring the best of guitarist Earl Klugh and the late bassist Jaco Pastorius. The Ultimate Earl Klugh features highlights of his 28-year career, from his 1976 hit Angelina through his popular collaborations with Bob James and George Benson. The album also showcases the work of guests Dave Grusin, Eric Gale, Steve Gadd, Patti Austin, and Lee Ritenour. Guitarist Paul Jackson Jr. says that Klugh, who started his career as a solo artist in 1976 with the album Love Songs, is a widely respected artist among smooth jazz players: "If you ask Peter White and Marc Antoine and all the acoustic guitar players, who is the best acoustic guitar player, who's the best gut-string guitar player, everybody will tell you Earl Klugh. At least they should. If they're smart. And they really know music."
The Ultimate Jaco Pastorius collects highlights from the late bassist's recording career including trumpeter Freddie Hubbard's 1978 recording Super Blue, and flutist Hubert Laws' 1970 breakthrough set, Afro Classic. Pastorius was famous for his mastery of the fretless bass, and frequent collaborator Pat Metheny says that he thought of Pastorius whenever he played the fretless guitar: "Sitting on my shoulder at all times is the memory of my friend Jaco Pastorius, who was one of the most relentlessly critical musicians I can ever imagine existing when it came to demanding perfect intonation from fretless instruments.”