Stanley Clarke stretches his muscles and comes up with a mostly impressive, polystylistic, star-studded double album (now on one CD) that gravitates ever closer to the R&B mainstream. Clarke's writing remains strong and his tastes remain unpredictable, veering into rock, electronic music, acoustic jazz, even reggae in tandem with British rocker Jeff Beck. Clarke's excursion into disco, "Just a Feeling," is surprisingly and infectiously successful, thanks to a good bridge and George Duke's galvanizingly funky work on the Yamaha electric grand piano (his finest moment with Clarke by far). The brief "Blues for Mingus," a wry salute from one master bassist to another (Mingus died about six months before this album's release), is a cool acoustic breather for piano trio, and the eloquent Stan Getz can be detected, though nearly buried under the garish vocals and rock-style mix, on "The Streets of Philadelphia."
Features 24 bit remastering and comes with a mini-description. Some big bands started outside the U.S. One notable example was the Kenny Clarke-Francy Boland Big Band—which was formed in '60 by American expatriate drummer Clarke, Belgian pianist Boland and former Ellington bassist Jimmy Woode. The band lasted just over 10 years and recorded more than 20 albums. Solos were spread among the 13 all-star musicians, and the band's charts were often intricate and laced with European flavor.
After giving Clarke's fans a taste of some live tapes of the School Days band on I Wanna Play for You, Epic waited until 1991 to put another batch of them out, well after it would have been commercially feasible to do so. But no matter, for this CD captures one of Clarke's best electric bands – maybe his best band, period – in a number of gigs in the U.S. and U.K., mixing up the jazz, funk, and rock into a high-energy, musically literate brew. A lot of this album recycles then-existing material, but the live conditions add flashes of spontaneity and sometimes considerable interest to jazz fans.
Schlefer's (b. 1956) three-movement Shakuhachi Concerto is subtly scored for strings, harp and percussion, with a 'semi-solo' role played by the shakuhachi … this attractive, highly approachable work - mainly contemplative, sometimes almost static but with bursts of strong rhythmic energy - exhibits considerable craftsmanship and no little artistry. ...Hagen's (b. 1961) colourful, lively writing for orchestra [in his Koto Concerto] pushes things along, skillfully and tunefully blending Japanese and American styles.
The bass has seen its share of extraordinary innovators in the hundred-plus years of jazz history. Stanley Clarke, much like such hallowed figures as Jimmy Blanton, Charles Mingus and Scott LaFaro, was a game changer on his instrument. Unlike those who came before him though, Clarke helped alter the nature of both the acoustic and electric configurations of the bass. His groundbreaking work of the 1970s has been so integrated into the very fabric of modern jazz bass playing that a return visit to his own brilliant recordings can be nothing less than a revelatory listening experience.