Larry Carlton was one of the first artists on the label and came in with a pretty good reputation, so he was probably a win for the label. Carlton would create two albums for the MCA Master Series. The first album contained his significant hit, which was, again, probably a win for the label. Carlton brought a smooth jazz sound, very calming, and nothing over the top. Carlton was not represented on the Sounds of the Season sampler unlike most of the other early artists. It’s unknown if the reason is because he changed labels (still MCA, but not Master Series) prior to that album being released in 1988 or because of a random violent attack that seriously injured him in 1988.
Alone, But Never Alone
This album is a collection of guitar-oriented jazz music. The songs are fully instrumented and the guitar is not the primary focus all the time.
The artwork uses the uncommon first design style, with a colored border, no color bar, and a center art piece in muted colors. Like the other first design albums, the spine text is upside down.
This album, released in 1987 – only a year after the first album, is consistent with the style of the first album. The album features a remake of Minute by Minute with Michael McDonald from the Doobie Brothers. Although there are words sung n the chorus, it could not be considered a vocal track, so the MCA Master Series remains instrumental at this point.
The album artwork is inconsistent with the MCA Master Series standards at the same time. The album has the color bar, but the artist and album font size are different from every other album on the label. Additionally, where there would normally be center art, there is a photo of Carlton. Showing the album artist was a rare occurrence, only used for Acoustic Alchemy’s last album, Edgar Meyer’s last album, Strength In Numbers, and Walter Hyatt’s album.
Christmas At My House
This album came as a surprise to me, as I thought I was completely finished with my MCA Master Series collection. This album doesn’t appear in any catalogs because it was released so late. This album is from 1989.
Obviously, there is no consistency with other Master Series covers. The liner notes show it was a totally different team that did this album, but that the MCA Master Series’ “leader”, Tony Brown, was involved in the creation of the album.