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The Stanley Clarke Band featuring Hiromi CD
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Bass virtuoso Stanley Clarke is best known as a key component of Return To Forever the legendary fusion band that made a triumphant worldwide reunion tour in 2008. 'The Stanley Clarke Band' emphasises his phenomenal electric bass playing and is akin to his influential solo recordings 'Journey to Love' and 'Schooldays', albums which astounded both jazz and rock fans in the 1970's. Also featured is dynamic pianist Hiromi who performed on Clarke's previous Heads Up CD, the acclaimed 'Jazz in the Garden'.
In a new foray for the bassist, the album also includes original compositions from other members of his group including Stanley Clarke Band keyboardist Ruslan Sirota and the new rising star of the drums, Ronald Bruner, Jr. - two musicians who have been performing and recording with him for the better part of five years.
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.
(4 stars) There's some tremendous material...Japanese jazz-piano sensation Hiromi lifts the pieces to another level with her flashes of ivory brilliance. --BBC Music Magazine, (Neil McKim), October 2010
(4 stars) The talkbox-flavoured 'I Wanna Play For You Too' puts the fun in 70s funk. --Drummer, July 2010
Clarke's renaissance continuous...as good as Clarke has ever been, relaxed, swinging, as strutting and funky as ever...Enjoy, it's a corker. --Jazzwise, Andy Robson), July 2010
Top Customer Reviews
That brings me to his most recent release, 'The Stanley Clarke Band', which is in one word phenomenal! This record also features Hiromi on a few of the albums tracks, which is welcomed because of how well the two worked together on the last record. One thing I enjoyed immensely about this record is how much higher Stanleys bass is in the mix; whereas with the 'The Toys Of Men' it seemed to be buried as bass guitars usually are, this makes it feel a lot more like a 'bass' album.
Another aspect of the album that I really enjoy is how cohesive it feels, and by that I mean how well the songs flow into each other and the fact that there isn't a track that I dread coming up or always skip. A highlight would be the opener 'Soldier' (written by Stanleys piano player); right from the beginning it is Stanleys bass that drives the track and I just feel that it is some of his best playing in a long time.
So overall this record stands up against Stanleys first three solo albums from the 70's (which many people believe was his peak), however it benefits from modern production methods and bass a player with much more experience in playing and composing.
You need have no worries on this score!
An excellent album that invokes fond memories of hearing School Days for the first time many years ago.
Still one of the best bass players ever in my view.
Excellent feel, groove and technique.
As you might expect the musicians he surrounds himself with our no slouch either. Fantastic album.
Stanley is at the top of his game.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is the best new album I've heard in ages. Outstanding even by Stanley's standards with many contrasting styles and textures. Very highly recommended.Published on 12 Feb. 2012 by A. Bone