Rock guitar's foundation was established by guys who were trashed out of their minds at all times, and you can hear it in their rhythms when they try to improvise. I won't name names...
Please do. Is this some sort of sorry dig at players Like Hendrix, Clapton or Page? or perhaps EvH?
The basis for fusion is rock+jazz and the basis for both rock and jazz is blues.
In either one of those genres you will find players taking liberties with timing; that's part of these styles.
Hendrix' Red House from Live at Winterland is a masterclass in timing and polyrhythms, thanks in part to a Jazz trained rhythm section.
Page, Clapton (Cream) and EvH used jazz trained rhythm sections, allowing them those liberties.
Also one of Carlton's biggest influences is Coltrane. Why rip on Rock/Blues players improvising "trashed out of their minds"
when 'Trane was just as guilty of this? Both he and Miles were addicted to heroin.
What's weird too, is that I'm sure Carlton can play, but the example you've provided has to be Larry Carlton at his worst.
He sounds like a poor Albert King impersonator. Please leave that stuff to Clapton or SRV. They are much better at it.
The second Carlton-blues youtube I hit was even worse...
And another poorly executed Carlton attempt, this time rock, covering Clapton:
This is better, but Carlton still manages to get upstaged by Robben Ford:
I think it is the most common error for fusion players:
they try too hard to emulate or evoke a certain style which isn't theirs,
whether blues or rock or progressive.
It turns into something like a Chinese chef stir frying a Porterhouse.
There's nothing wrong with Chinese food, but there are certain things you need do with a big steak.