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If This Bass Could Only Talk CD

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9675b720) out of 5 stars 14 reviews
10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x95e2e45c) out of 5 stars Excellent Electric Bass Playing 12 Feb. 2002
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Audio CD
The first and last tracks on this album are worth the price of admission. Wicked funky bass playing. These two tracks really show off the strengths of the electric bass.
If you are an electric bass player, this album will keep you busy for a while, listening to Mr. Clarke's excellent work. His range of tone qualities and techniques are amply exhibited here. This is a showcase for Stanley Clarke's virtuosity, and really an encyclopedia of the state of electric bass technique at the end of the 20th century.
That being said, many of Clarke's tunes lie flat. They lack direction and fail to hold the listener's interest(at least this listener's interest). Charles Mingus he is not. Stanley Clarke's genius is in the expressiveness and technique of his playing.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x95e2e8c4) out of 5 stars Best of Stanley's Later Years 7 Sept. 2001
By J. Liberty - Published on
Format: Audio CD
This is still one of my favorite Stanley albums. The first and last tracks are duets with Gregory Hines tap dancing. A first I'm sure, but I can take it or leave it. To me, "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat" is really the highlight of this record and probably my favorite version of that tune. It reminds me of Stanley jamming with Weather Report - both at their peak. "I Want to Play for Ya" is a little bit of that old school funky talking bass thang. It worked well on some of his older solo albums like Journey to Love and School Days and it really works here. What we get on this record is a mature artist at the peak of his songwriting skills. Stanley is STANLEY. He does not have to play at 200 mph every minute. What he does is craft some great songs, beautiful melodies, great sounds, and smoking solos. This is the type of CD that if it falls into your CD changer has a way of staying there for a while.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x95e2e8e8) out of 5 stars Stanley Letting His Bass Do The Talking 4 Mar. 2011
By Andre S. Grindle - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Considering that Stanley Clarke had spent much of the 80's up until this point pursuing a largely vocal oriented R&B/funk style music it seemed fitting that in 1988, at a time when the music of the decade was starting to showcase a stronger individual identity he would get some of the great musicians of the whole jazz/funk/R&B scene such as Wayne Shorter,Freddie Hubbard,John Robinson,Paulinho DaCosta and tap dancer Gregory Hines to create an album that marked a full on return to the genre that made Clarke famous from the outset:instrumental jazz. Now by no means is this an acoustic album-it's actually very contempory electric late 80's fusion with a flavor somewhat similar in production to what Miles Davis was coming up with during the period. Either way this was all an excellent thing for Clarke in both musical and critical terms at the time.

The music on this album is teaming with life,energy and inspired bass solos with plenty of that adventorous improvisational sensability Clarke was so known for. The dancable and very funk title song and "Basically Taps" feature nothing but Clarke's slamming bass licks with the rhythm provided by nothing but Hine's tap dancing feet. Mingus's "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat" is another very famous tune from this album and is given a wonderful,slow crawling sophistifunk flavor and the same goes for "I Wanna Play For Ya" and "Workin Man" which borrows some of the rhythms and riffs from his 1974 classic "Lopsy Lu". Stewart Copeland shows up again adding his distinctive drumming talents to "Stories To Tell",on this album given a rhythmic treatment right out of an early 80's Police record and Clarke gives it a total bass workout yet again. Another real highlight is a smokey and very complimentary cover (not too different in production from the original actually" of Jam/Lewis's wonderfully chorded tune "Funny How Time Flies (When Your Having Fun)" originally recorded with Janet Jackson and is carried out in a similar manner to Stanley Jordon's similarly themed version of brother Michael's "The Lady In My Life". The jazziest tune here is "Tradition",sort of a modern electric verion of 50's modern jazz when it all comes down.

From a strictly musical standpoint this might very well be Stanley Clarke's most instrumentally and creatively satisfying recordings of the 1980's. On it he presents a series of tunes with a clean,consistant production style rounded out with a variety of different styles with that-everything from fusion,R&B,funk to contemporary pop and rather than fill in the spaces with vocals or synthesizers the electronics take on a textural element in the music and he again brings his bass work in his many different styles right up front and the attention is always focused on the artist himself. Although I personally have no problem with Clarkes vocal funk and R&B records of earlier in the decade,and believe they actually added a lot to his musical pallette in general there is a very good reason why this album is so revered among Stanley Clarke fans because of the strong instrumental nature of the music,inspired performances from all involved and the general enthusiasm of the overall material offered from him here.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x95e2ec0c) out of 5 stars The REAL Stanley Came Back To Visit! 9 Nov. 2004
By P. McKenna - Published on
Format: Audio CD
When I first heard this disc it was a breath of fresh air for me and a relief at the same time. I thought, "At last, Stanley's doing GOOD albums again!"

Given the schlocky albums he put out from 1979 and throughout the 80's, I was VERY skeptical at first. But my doubts that Stanley still had it were pretty much erased upon first listen. Here, Stanley has shown how diverse a musical pallette he has:

The two cuts with tap dancer Gregory Hines are nothing short of FUN and BRILLIANT simultaneously, as Stanley pulls off some stunning chord melody bass to Hine's mercilessly complex tap rhythms! "Goodbye Porkpie Hat" the old Charles Mingus chestnut gets a very high-tech 1980's treatment here, featuring Wayne Shorter on soprano sax. Other tracks like "Workin' Man" and "Stories To Tell" just get flat out fierce like the Stanley of old, no fuzak here.

The only thing that I din't much care for was the album's now rather dated 1980's production (heavy reverb, tons of synths etc), hence the 4 stars as opposed to five. Sucha shame he didn't do more albums like this after for it sure was good to hear the REAL Stanley Clarke a-slappin' again!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x95e2ed38) out of 5 stars awesome jazz 11 April 2010
By John T. Barlow - Published on
This was one of the first jazz albums that I purchased when I was stationed in Sicily in 1989 while I was in the Air Force and it remains to this day one of my favorite albums. I now own probably 300 jazz CDs and it is just a great album filled with great superlative bass playing. Purchase it and enjoy.
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