The Complete Stanley Clarke 1970s Epic Albums Collection Box set, Limited Edition
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Audio CD, Box set, Limited Edition, June 12, 2012
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The bass has seen its share of extraordinary innovators in the hundred-plus years of jazz history. Stanley Clarke, much like such hallowed figures as Jimmy Blanton, Charles Mingus and Scott LaFaro, was a game changer on his instrument. Unlike those who came before him though, Clarke helped alter the nature of both the acoustic and electric configurations of the bass. His groundbreaking work of the 1970s has been so integrated into the very fabric of modern jazz bass playing that a return visit to his own brilliant recordings can be nothing less than a revelatory listening experience.
By the time he was in his early twenties, Clarke had already apprenticed in the bands of, among others, Horace Silver, Pharoah Sanders and Stan Getz; his phenomenal technique, rich tone and melodic phrasing galvanizing the acoustic bass into previously unheard territory. Uniting with keyboardist Chick Corea in the various editions of the Return To Forever band, Clarke began incorporating the electric bass into his arsenal. Blending funk-styled finger popping and virtuosic strumming techniques mated with his harmonic and compositional sophistication -- Clarke alerted a new generation of fusion players to the instrument's untapped potential.
Clarke's own recordings of the time are ripe with superb playing from the leader and such illustrious fans as drummer Tony Williams, keyboardists Jan Hammer and George Duke, and guitarists Jeff Beck and John McLaughlin, just to name check guests from Clarke's first two albums. With his third album, School Days, Clarke became a bonified jazz-funk hero: the greasy bass line of the title track remains a yardstick of groove playing; to this day, no self-respecting electric bassist dares not have it under his or her fingers.
Subsequent albums found the now revered bassist mixing rock, jazz, R&B and orchestral textures with comfort, originality and boldness. Make no mistake, each of these pioneering Clarke recordings can sit proudly alongside the fusion masterworks of the Mahavishnu Orchestra, Weather Report and Return To Forever.
2.Journey To Love
5.I Wanna Play for You [2-CDs]
The most complete Stanley Clarke 1970s albums collection!Stanley Clarke's most famous and best-selling albums were all recorded for Nemperor/Epic between 1974 and 1979. All are included in this collection. All of these albums were either Top 50 or Top 100 Billboard Pop Albums, and all were Top 5 Billboard Jazz Albums. Clarke demonstrates throughout why he is considered one of the all-time greatest acoustic and electric bass players. Includes his biggest hits "School Days", "Silly Putty", "Rock'N'Roll Jelly", "Vulcan Princess" and more.Many featured guests including Chick Corea, John McLaughlin, George Duke, Jeff Beck, Tony Williams, Jan Hammer, Steve Gadd, Stan Getz and Freddie Hubbard.
Top customer reviews
First off I bought this collection mainly for Stanley Clarke's I Wanna Play For You CD, which is as far as I know, the only complete un-edited recording. There are some disks out there, but they have been edited time wise or missing songs to fit a single disk. The original vinyl album, which I have, is a double album set containing 15 songs for a total time of 79 minutes 50 seconds which I wrote about here I Wanna Play For You. Included in this collection is a complete 2-disk recording true to the original vinyl release of 1979.
The first time I heard this album, the year of its release, I feel in love with it and it was to be my introduction to Stanley Clarke. My standout favorites are the live versions of School Days, and Quite Afternoon, as well as Christopher Ivanhole and the title song, I Wanna Play for You. I also love the way he opens up side 3 (on the vinyl) with his bass play of Strange Weather and then merges into the opening drum play of I Wanna Play For You. It's no different on this CD, which is on the first disk. I just mention it because of the way side 3 on the album opens.
The live versions of School Days and Quiet Afternoon are absolutely marvelous. School Days is 10:41, while Quiet Afternoon comes in at 9:41. While Stanly goes frenzy with the bass guitar on School days, he's a bit mellower on Quiet Afternoon. Accompanying Stanley on Quiet Afternoon is Raymond Gomez whose electric guitar play is well... electric. There's also some really nice drum work here by Darryl Brown. Really, this entire CD is great.
BTW School Days is shortened by two and half minutes on the single disk I reviewed a while back, and appears to be the same on this BGO disk here: Modern Man/I Wanna Play for You. So yeah, just this getting this complete CD was more than enough to get me to buy this set. And I haven't even begun to go into the other 5 CD's included in this set which includes:
- The self-titled CD Stanley Clark
- Journey to Love
- School Days
- Modern Man
- Stanley Clarke Live - 1976 - 1977
Except for Modern Man and Stanley Clarke Live, I've also got these on vinyl as well. And other than I Wanna Play For You, I haven't listened to the other albums since purchasing so I'm looking forward to hearing these gems again.
I do however remember one of my other favorite Stanley tunes is on his School Days album/CD is a song called The Dancer. It's a rather melodic tune that opens up with the drum play of Gerry Brown, and is than built on the guitar play of Stanley Clarke, and Raymond Gomez, with the organ/mini moog play of David Sancious. This one beautifully enchanting song. And on the Self-titled Stanley Clark CD is a nice Jazz rock tune called Power in which Stanley rocks the electric bass. This is a bad (as in good) tune.
About the package...
You get 6 CD's (seven if you count the double CD of I wanna play for you). Each CD in a mini paper sleeve representative of the vinyl album. While I love paper sleeved CD's, especially the Japanese mini albums (CD's), these are somewhat cheap in that they could easily tear or become damaged, especially the double CD of I wanna play for you, which is a tight fit and the open sides face each other. This basically forces you to fold the sleeve over to remove a CD or else you risk tearing the sleeve.
The other issue for the single CD's is that they are somewhat loose fitting in their sleeve and could actually fall or roll out. Additionally over the long haul, the CD's could become scratched or damaged by them rubbing up against the paper sleeves. With the Japanese Paper sleeves, you also get a plastic CD sleeve the CD's fit into; with this set, you get no such feature.
With that I would highly suggest you keep these CD's in the box they came in as it is also a way to help protect your investment. The other thing you could do is invest in some plastic sleeves for the CD's to protect the CD's from scratches as well. For those of us with vinyl records, you may remember the plastic sleeves to protect the disks. This is the same principle. I buy a lot of my CD's from CD Japan and in one of my orders I was given a pack of CD proctors which I'll now be using on this set.
Sound wise the CD's are quite good though the only mention of mastering is giving Mark Wilder credit; there's no mentioning of what mastering technique was used. While they sound better than the standard American releases, I can't say they're up to the Japanese standard, but they're not bad.
Cost cutting aside, this package contains some classic Stanley Clarke CD's and if you're into jazz rock, or fusion, these will definitely please you. And for those looking for a "complete" CD of I wanna play for you, here you have it in a double CD set - all unedited, full length, and in the correct order as the original 1979 vinyl release, with no fillers.
Definitely deserved of 5 stars. BTW the price on this set increased from what I paid here. It's still a good value though.
Now I'm off to check out the George Duke collection I also bought.
Although I already own the other titles in this box-set on individual cd's it was worth the price.