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School Days

4.6 out of 5 stars 59 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 5, 2008)
  • Original Release Date: January 5, 2008
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: SBME SPECIAL MKTS.
  • Run Time: 37 minutes
  • ASIN: B0012GMUPE
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #31,701 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Gavin Wilson on April 20, 2001
Format: Audio CD
1976 was an extraordinary year for jazz-rock, and a very fortunate year for the CBS label. Weather Report's Jaco Pastorius released his wonderful debut solo album, Stanley Clarke released 'Schooldays', and his band Return to Forever released their 'Romantic Warrior' masterpiece.
It's useful to compare the two bassists' approaches to solo albums. Pastorius assumed a solo album meant just that: although there would be some numbers in a group setting, there should also be at least a couple of tracks where bass was the only instrument. Clarke didn't quite see things that way: his solo albums were more of an opportunity to front numerous different assemblies of highly accomplished musicians. The only rule, as he saw it, was not to use Lenny White or Al di Meola, or you might as well call the result another Return to Forever album.
Here he employs a fantastic roll-call of the leading drummers of the time: Bill Cobham, Eleventh House's Gerry Brown, and ace session musician Steve Gadd. Corea isn't featured at all, so Clarke himself provides some piano, and Dave Sancious and George Duke provides most of the keyboard fest elsewhere.
The album was Clarke's zenith, and his biggest seller. Sadly there's only one acoustic track here, but the electric tracks, to my ear, haven't dated as badly as those on 'Journey to Love'. Over the course of 25 years I have played it to death, and feel I know every note! But this means I cannot forecast how it will sound to new ears. To me it's still hugely enjoyable.
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Format: Audio CD
This art form of jazz fusion was never better than this amazing album. At the height of the movement, Stanley Clarke created a collection of pieces that brought together not only great players, but excellent melodies, muscular arrangements, and a profoundly funky edge that leaves most jazz-rock/fusion eating dust.
Into these six tracks, Clarke packs energy, daring and taste. Supplemented by what can only be called the best players in fusion and rock (Jeff Beck, David Sancious, Billy Cobham and, oh yes, John McLaughlin) Clarke removes the bass from the hands of limited slappers and extends playing technique that despite what some may think, is still the gold standard.
Some may compare Stanley Clarke to his putative rival Jaco Pastorius, but while Jaco was a great player, no mistake, Clarke is a great musical mind. The sweep of this music, the careful, but not constricted orchestration, the attention to detail all propel Stanley Clarke to the head of the class.
This album captures what was great about the best Jazz fusion, and indeed of the best of rock music of this time: the sense of limitless ecstatic exploration. In this dogmatic, cramped and idea-free era, listening to Stanley Clarke feels akin to Crimethink. Bring on the thought police, I'll confess.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Having purchased the 2008 release (here) I could not identify this as Digitally Remastered so I returned it. I would buy this just for the song Life Is Just A Game. The CD as a work stands up solid with School Days and The Dancer being additional all-time greats. Stanley's bass guitar (as lead) on 'Life Is Just A Game' is masterful with Billy Cobham and George Duke topping it off. Note that John McLaughlin plays-in Desert Song.

The release for 12/21/2004 (MSI label, UPC: 5099750300220) is 24-bit Remastered/Reissued; Buying this CD is like having your own copy of the original master tape. Please don't believe in the illusion that vinyl is better. At 24-bit resolution (with DVD-A or DSD/SACD being even closer) only having the original master would be surpassed. Since the mid-80's, studio sessions began to be digitally recorded at the start as almost all are these days. Prior to that; any 2" @ 30-ips with or without ND encoded thru digital remastering can sound great if the original tape was properly cared for.

UPDATED: To help all looking for Digital Remastered Versions, the UPC's are:'School Days' = 5099746821920 or 5099750300220; `Stanley Clarke' = 5099746821821 (1991). As for 'Journey To Love' it has been with great difficulty in that the UPC - 5099746822125 (1994) that I received (as an import) was not a digital remaster and believe it will be `hit-or-miss' on this one. The Sony UPC - 886972415024 (2008) was also not a digital remaster. Previously, I attempted to buy all three here only to return them as incorrect versions (not having the correct UPC's) as listed. These sonic comparisons were made using the `The Bass-ic Collection' CD, which is a digital remastered CD.

Why all the fuss? These are exceptional performances by Stanley Clarke and worth the hunt or wait.
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Format: Audio CD
this is one of my all time favorite fusion cds. Stanley clarke leads an outstanding emsemble of musiicans with his tremendous ability as a bass player. Stanley clarke displays his talent on all the tracks creating an unforgettable amalgam of jazz rock, r&b and some symphonic music. There are few who can take the lead on bass as does clarke. He is backed by such excellent players as david sancious, ray gomez, billy cobham icarus johnson, john macloughlin and more. Listen to the great guitar solo on life is just a game. Feel the energy as well as the outstanding playing on the title track school days. this recording was a tremendous uplift to my spriits when i first purchased it in 1976. It is still great and is a timeless example of what good music is and should be. this is a must have for any rock fan, fusion fan or anyone who appreciates good music.
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