Review

Eric Clapton, "Clapton"

Consider Eric Clapton's 19th solo album a largely successful bid to be all things to all people, including himself. The broadly eclectic, guest-filled "Clapton"-his first studio outing since 2006's Grammy Award-winning "The Road to Escondido" collaboration with J.J. Cale-stretches from a hip-swiveling blues-rock original ("Run Back to Your Side") to rural gospel-blues ("Judgment Day"). The 14-song set also includes a relaxed rendition of Hoagy Carmichael's "Rocking Chair" and lush treatments of Johnny Mercer's "Autumn Leaves" and Irving Berlin's "How Deep Is the Ocean." Standouts are the Fats Waller tunes "My Very Good Friend the Milkman" and "When Somebody Thinks You're Wonderful," performed here with Allen Toussaint, Wynton Marsalis and members of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. And other noteworthy tracks include the New Orleans-flavored version of Robert Wilkins' "That's No Way to Get Along" and the loping treatment of Lil' Son Jackson's "Travelin' Alone," which opens the album. Clapton's playing is characteristically tasteful throughout, and his vocal performances are among the most flexible.

- Album Review
3.5 STARS