In my opinion, recordings like this is not only rare but transformational. Composer/bassist Stanley Clarke seamlessly cross-pollinated his musical influences to record this brilliant, innovative yet mind-boggling project when is was not only cool, but when record executives actually encouraged creativity. While visiting my sister in New York, I heard “Lopsy Lu” for the first time on WDAS-105.3FM out of Philly while in transit from the airport to my sister’s apartment!! Wow, simply remarkable I was blown away, and awe struck by inventiveness Clarke processed on this recording. Arguably to this day, I haven’t heard anyone record and album that can match the virtuosity Stanley Clarke displayed on this magnificent recording! —Rob Young
Stanley Clarke | Stanley Clarke – [Epic, 1974]
While some jazz purists will detest this LP for it’s marriage of jazz improvisation and rock, the simple truth is, “Stanley Clarke” (both the LP and the man)are stunning and ingenious. The late, great Tony Williams is volcanic in his drumming, notice how he plays slightly behind the bass on “Lopsy Lu“, or plays in circles around guitarist Bill Connors on Part IV of the “Life Suite“?
There is not a wasted note here and listeners who are looking for ‘light‘ or ‘smooth‘ jazz are barking up the wrong tree! Clarke himself is an astounding bassist and takes on shades of Charles Mingus on “Phases for Strings and Bass” and all of the opening “Vulcan Princess“. Electro-funk, hard rock and jazz rarely live on the same street these days, but this kind of adventurous music making (a treasure for us more discriminating music lovers)tells me that the 3 should visit each other more frequently. Stanley Clarke is the man! —Willie A. Young II
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