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4.5 out of 5 stars13
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 21 January 2004
Few mid 70's "jazz-funk-fusion" albums can be classed as "fun" but this is about as close as it gets - superbly played music that keeps its head above the murky waters of self-indulgence that too many other records from this period fall into. The stand-out title track features an insidious bass riff, superb lead guitar and a quite breathtaking two and a half minute bass break that is just about as demanding as it gets without at any point losing the importance of keeping complex playing within a tight melodic structure... simply one of the most technically brilliant and enjoyable jazz-funk recordings ever made. And, the rest of the album continues in the same vein, showcasing some deceptively laid-back music that stands the test of time precisely because of its controlled combination of complexity and melody.
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on 13 November 2002
This is my favourite Stanley Clarke album because it has a little bit of everything he's so good at whether it's those quirky, edgy popping notes of his piccolo bass or that hard driving relentless upfront attack on the more conventional electric bass not to mention the sinuously woven tapestry of mellow sound on the upright acoustic.Along with Jack Bruce and Jaco Pastorius he's helped to push the bass guitar into new territory and as with those other two it's sometimes difficult to believe that what you're hearing is bass. Like Bruce he thrashes and plays it as a lead guitar and like Pastorius he makes it sing sweetly and melodically. Above all, though, on this album he makes you want to dance - the title track being an irrisistible invitation to get up and boogie.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 26 December 2011
Only three reviews? this album is simply a monster from which ever angle you choose to look at it. It's a fusion classic. But why?

Firstly:great tunes - hear the bass riff to 'School Days' once , and you'll never forget it.Also for your delight Stan has laid on the beautiful 'Desert Song' and the monster funk workout that is 'The Dancer'. This is simply a very entertaining album which is accessible to jazz lovers and loathers alike.

Secondly:for the die-hard fusioneers, the standard of playing is simply phenomenal.Stan of course is a unique bass stylist - his licks are instantly identifiable as his own, but more then that, he has good taste. Stan can get overly busy sometimes with the thumb and other digits, he seems to be happiest when he can get you groovin'. So unlike a lot of fusion albums,it's the tunes that matter not the showing off. Even so,those who enjoy great musicians having a blast will find that this album is a bit of a treasure trove.Drummer Gerry Brown is just outrageous throughout,in fact he complements Stan brilliantly,never over playing but always on the groove.Pride of place though, must go to that seriously underrated guitarist Ray Gomez. He blows a fuse or two on 'The Dancer' and of course he's all over 'School Days'. He's got real feeling for melody and though not a 'technician' in the machine gun fashion of Clarke's former band mate, Al De Meola, he demonstrates serious 'chops' when given the opportunity.Listen out also for John McLaughlin on 'Quiet Afternoon', where he plays some lovely acoustic lines,bringing extra life and depth to one of Stan's most limpidly beautiful compositions.

I kid you not, this is a great album. The standout track is of course 'School Days',but even if you part with a few pounds for this tune alone, I still believe you'll have justified your expenditure with the added fun you'll be having on listening to it,over and over.

If you like 'School Days' then try 'Modern Music'. It's a bit of a patchy affair in places, but then comes 'Rock n'Roll Jelly' with Jeff Beck- absolutely spellbinding.
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on 20 March 2016
Perhaps Clark's finest solo album of those catering for a jazz/rock audience. ‘It was released after ‘Journey to Love’ and is not dissimilar in form and to that album. It is musically varied but always falls within the jazz/rock genre. It opens with the album's title track with an infectious riff followed by a long instrumental section showcasing Clarke's facility on the electric bass and finale’s a grandiose, almost symphonic piece which includes some Clarke vocal, (in which he proclaims that Life is just a game and there’s many ways to play, and all you have to do is choose) a powerful, brass section and some cool guitar work by Icarus Johnson.

In between we have four shorter pieces: a mellow piece, ' Quiet Afternoon' which sounds just as its title suggests, not instantly appealing but certainly grows with repeated hearings. This is followed by an almost a more up-tempo instrumental with a Latin- Jazz vibe and is possible the weakest track on the album but if like me you play music an album at a time it becomes part of the whole and like the previous track is a ‘grower’. 'Desert Song' vaguely reminiscent of ‘Song For John’ on ‘Journey to Love, follows - a sparse, thoughtful study with Stanley on acoustic bass and John McLaughlin on acoustic guitar, the only element missing is Chick Corea on piano!

All in all a ‘complete album of varied moods and musicianship’. Highly recommended.
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on 22 April 2012
Classic album from the all-time master of the bass guitar. Stanley Clarke plays the bass like no other and this album is a must have in any collection.
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on 29 May 2013
I bought this album on vinyl over 35 years ago. I loved it then and still love it now. Mr Clarke was, probably still is, a genius on bass.
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on 30 June 2013
The album quality was very poor and therefore not good for listening. It must have been dubbed to a CD from a vinyl record. What happened to digital mastering!!! Don't buy this cd you will be very disappointed with the sound quality.
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on 5 February 2016
Content was again not as funky as I thought it would be and swayed by the Passenger 57 OST. It reminded me of Issac hayes OST of Shaft and his other music, which were not in the same class.
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on 28 December 2007
If you have never heard of Stanley Clark then you have been missing out. This guy is Funk personified, in the truest sense of the word. New comers to Funk and some critics of Stanley Clark may say that this guy is merely showing off his remarkable skills on the Bass, and that there is no "musical" creative merit/talent in his work. This is obviously far too harsh and misses the point of Stanley Clark. He is a musician’s musician. A leader in his field and this album celebrates that. Some would say he is not showing off but having “Fun”, but nobody can have a doubt that he created this music, with George Duke, John McLaughlin and Billy Cobham because they thought it was good, and I am sure a lot of assessment and hard work went into making it, and most of all, I am sure all the fans of SC would agree it is good , very good.
“School Days” is Stanley Clark’s best album I think because it shows the artist’s at his most musically diverse. The first track is hardly much of a “tune” but introduces the SC style and the album quickly moves on to a seductive and deeper involvement into his world. From brash, heavy funk rifts and highly skilled executions of technique to a more mellow and sensitive side of SC that is so engaging. One could say that it moves into the area of slow folk jazz, which gives the album such a wonderful contrast. One can see from this album that there is more to SC than just funky rift’s. The man is a true artist as well as a showman. If you want an intro into Funk you could do a lot worse than “School days”, but it would be hard to better it. If you do buy the album and find it was a mistake, you can be sure you will quickly find someone else who will be willing to buy it from you.
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on 21 March 2014
Absolutely tip top album! If you like bass, if you like funk, and some amazing vocals included you WILL go mad for this!
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