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Eric Clapton recorded "Layla" with players he met while touring as a superstar sideman with Delaney & Bonnie, with Bobby Whitlock on keyboards, Carl Radle on bass, and Jim Gordon on drums. But what makes these 1970 sessions truly memorable is the addition of guitarist Duane Allman. The title song, an anguished cry of love written to the wife of his friend George Harrison, remains an integral part of Clapton's repertoire and is equally memorable for its spiraling guitar riff as for the pastoral keyboards that supply the coda. But it's the inspired instrumental work of Clapton and Allman that made this a highlight in the career of both men. Clapton tears into a slow blues identified with Freddie King, "Have You Ever Loved a Woman," while Allman adds an empathetic slide guitar to "Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out." The guitarists pay deft tribute to Jimi Hendrix on a version of his "Little Wing" and rattle the rafters on a hard-rocking original, "Why Does Love Got to Be So Sad." The collection closes with "Thorn Tree in the Garden," a sweet ballad written and sung by Whitlock that's a breath of fresh air after a set that seethes with the blues.