April 29, 2008 16:37 ET

Earl Klugh Brings THE SPICE OF LIFE to Radio and Retail on KOCH Records

Grammy®-Winning Acoustic Guitarist/Composer's New Album Spins Off Hit Radio Track "Driftin'"

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - April 29, 2008) - EARL KLUGH, Grammy® Award-winning innovator and master of the acoustic guitar, today releases just his second album in nine years, THE SPICE OF LIFE, on KOCH Records. Klugh's last album, the 2005 solo masterpiece "Naked Guitar," drew Klugh's eleventh career Grammy® Award nomination.

The album's lead radio focus track, "Driftin'," has enjoyed an immediate welcome by the adult-targeted jazz radio stations which have formed a core of Klugh's support over his 30-year recording career. Following its appearance on the list of most-added tracks at radio, four consecutive weeks of airplay gains prior to album release have taken "Driftin'" into the Top 25 of both Mediabase and Radio & Records charts.

Sirius Satellite Radio's Jazz Café channel also celebrated THE SPICE OF LIFE with an "Earl Klugh Weekend," with special hourly programming of album highlights and live in-studio performances, just prior to album release. Early praise of the album also came from Maryann Miller of the on-line Blogger News Network, who noted the "pure joy" of "listen(ing) to someone make the instrument sing the way he can." Added Skope Magazine: "'Driftin'' has that 'it,' a classic melody with crisp, clean guitar. This would make a great theme song for a TV show or movie."

THE SPICE OF LIFE is Klugh's first full-production release in nine years, and renews his long-held place as a trailblazing and inclusive force, uniting jazz, R&B, Latin 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 touches on the many inspirations of Klugh's lifetime, playing 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. The many pleasures of THE SPICE OF LIFE encompass solo, trio and full-band pieces, lush orchestration, warm and vibrant production, and original solo guitar compositions -- all of these in Klugh's unfailingly positive, fresh and imaginative style. 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."

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 such musical mentors and influences as Yusef Lateef, Chick Corea, Bill Evans, George Benson and the members of 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 toured India twice with the sponsorship of the U.S. State Department and The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz. In early April 2008, Klugh presented his 5th Annual Weekend of Jazz at the Broadmoor Resort 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. Klugh's first KOCH album, "Naked Guitar," was nominated for Best Pop Instrumental Album. "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.

1.  Ocean Blue
2.  Sleepyhead
3.  Canadian Sunset
4.  Venezuelan Nights
5.  Driftin'
6.  Snap!
7.  Bye Ya
8.  Heart Of My Life
9.  Morning in Rio
10. C'est Si Bon
11. Lucy's World
12. My Foolish Heart
13. The Toy Guitar

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About KOCH Entertainment

KOCH Entertainment, founded in 1987 and now in its twenty-second year, is the leading and fastest-growing independent music company in the U.S. KOCH's operations encompass record and video labels, music publishing 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. Its record label KOCH Records is the # 1 independent label in the U.S. and 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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