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I still don't understand how chef-solo and chef-client are different...

If I have a cookbooks directory, a json attributes file, a solo.rb like following

cookbooks directory

cookbooks
|-cb_foo
| |-attributes
| | |-default.rb
| |-recipes
|   |-default.rb
|
|-cb_bar
| |-attributes
| | |-default.rb
| |-recipes
|   |-default.rb
.
.
.

json attributes file

{
  "run_list": [ "recipe[cb_foo]" ]
}

solo.rb

file_cache_path "/path/to/chef-solo"
cookbook_path "/path/to/cookbooks"

and if I execute chef-client like

$ sudo -E chef-client -j /path/to/attributes.json

Then, the json attributes file "cb_bar/attributes/default.rb" isn't loaded.
But, if I execute chef-solo like

$ sudo -E chef-solo -c solo.rb -j /path/to/attributes.json

Then, All of attributes files including "cb_bar/attributes/default.rb", are loaded.

I thought that if I use chef-client, chef-client loads only necessary recipes from a chef server to a cache directory, and chef-client see the directory, so, even if chef-client can't understand what files I need, chef-client doesn't load unnecessary recipe attribute files.But if I use chef-solo, chef-solo can see all of recipe attribute files, and that chef-solo can't understand what files I need, so the command loads them.
Is it right?