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The Stanley Clarke Band
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Renowned bassist Stanley Clarke's new recording, The Stanley Clarke Band, is unlike his previous acoustic bass releases, Clarke feels that this album's music is fresh and different from just about anything he's done before. Produced by Clarke and Lenny White, the range of collaborative material on The Stanley Clarke Band has allowed him to venture to new levels of experimentation, utilizing his arsenal of bass instruments. Clarke compares this new release to the first three albums of his solo career: Journey to Love, Stanley Clarke, and School Days, with long extended electric pieces that take the listener on a kind of journey.
"Technically, it's a Stanley Clarke record, but it's very much a band-oriented record at the same time," says Clarke. "I may be the leader, but everyone played an important role in what emerged. If a project like this can be looked at like a ship, I'd be the one steering the ship and keeping everybody on course. But all hands were definitely on deck, and everyone played an important role in getting us to our destination."
Also a new foray for Clarke, the album includes original compositions from members of the band. He is joined by Stanley Clarke Band keyboardist Ruslan Sirota and drummer Ronald Bruner, Jr. - who have been performing and recording with him for the better part of five years. Innovative young musicians, they have virtually grown up in Clarke's band and bring a freshness he admires. Following 2009's highly-acclaimed Jazz In the Garden, this is featured artist Hiromi Uehara's second Clarke recording collaboration. Clarke's rugged and complex bass work serves as the ideal foil for her trademark fiery and expressive piano chops, as reflected through critics' praising it as "a superb trio effort" (Bass Player) and "one of the best jazz CDs of the year" (San Jose Mercury News).
"There are people on The Stanley Clarke Band other than myself who have something to say," explains Clarke. "Everyone on this project brought their own music and their own ideas. The styles of the individual tunes may be different, but the continuous thread that runs through the whole record is the fact that we're all operating as a unit on each track."
Among the additional players in the album's supporting cast are vocalist Cheryl Bentyne (a longtime member of The Manhattan Transfer); guitarists Charles Altura, Rob Bacon, and Armand Sabal-Lecco; saxophonist Bob Sheppard; bass synthesizer Lorenzo "Larry" Dunn (of Earth, Wind & Fire fame); keyboardist Felton Pilate; horn players Andrew Lippman and John Papenbrook; and drum programmers Chris Clarke and Jon Hakakian.
Perhaps the most appealing aspect of The Stanley Clarke Band is the exceptionally organic nature of its genesis - the sense of grassroots creativity that existed outside of any efforts to tailor the music to any specific segment of the market. Clarke concludes, "This is the last electric album I'm going to do for awhile. The legacy of this release is that I'm providing lots of material and homework for a new generation of bassists to catch up with. I've worked hard to give the bass a distinctive voice, and I feel so excited about where it's going."
Top Customer Reviews
"The Stanley Clarke Band" is a virtuosic smorgasbord of old-school fusion, classical jazz, modern-day funk and introspective collaborations. Stanley's playing is fresh and inventive, and not as self-referential as previous outings.
This is a spectacular recording showing a legendary master at the absolute top of his game. Highly recommended!
Contrary to what I've always done in the past, I saw the band "first" before hearing the album, which I had bought only a couple of hours prior to the show. Interestingly when Rusland Sirota signed the CD cover/sleeve, he proclaimed, "So, this is what it looks like!"- he hadn't even seen it yet!
Whilst listening to it the next day, the first thing that occurred to me is that those thirty-second samples on Amazon are only the tip of the iceberg- there's much much, more going on in these songs than those samples will even begin to hint at!
One of the first things you notice, is Stanley's absolutely pristine bass sound- the strings sounding so bright and clear, yet beautifully carrying the bottom end, sounding as though he had put on a brand new set of strings for each song! Stanley and Lenny White do a great job at the production helm beginning with Ruslan Sirota's original, "Soldier", a very cool piece that occasionally shifts into high gear with one of the most interesting transitions I've heard in a long time: a "Police"-type uptempo groove with slightly distorted, yet not overbearing guitar which creates a melancholy mood that's just gorgeous, nicely setting the stage for all of the unique things about to on throughout this great album.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I enjoyed all but one song. Everything but that one song, I enjoyed very much and, sometimes, very, very much.Published 9 months ago by Mad Professor
Very good CD. Stanley Clarke is a very good bass guitarist. I was able to see him play in January in Indianapolis, and his fingers move across the strings like a spider in hot... Read morePublished 13 months ago by CJ
This is another great album by Stanley Clarke. The idea to use new young talent rather than old time hired guns promotes new players and makes the music all that much better.Published 13 months ago by David Gaither
Stanley has always amazed me by his ability to incorporate his funky roots with his jazz heart. Being the Icon that he is, you can feel the passion he has maintained over the... Read morePublished 17 months ago by AJ Diggs Sr.
Stanley Clarke at his best, along with his wonderfully talented band. If you grew up with Stanley Clarke from his "School Days," you might be thinking that you'd rather... Read morePublished 18 months ago by Linda Cortese