COMPOSERS: Stanley Clarke Trio
LABELS: Heads Up
PERFORMER: Stanley Clarke (bass), Hiromi (piano), Ruslan Sirota (keyboards), Charles Altura (guitar), Ronald Bruner Jnr (drums) etc
CATALOGUE NO: HUCD3161
Stanley Clarke is without doubt a bass legend and his skill on acoustic and electric bass continues to set a benchmark for aspiring bass players and record collectors. In this latest project he casts the net wide when it comes to looking back at the style and influences of his career.
There’s some riveting glimpses of vocoder-tinged funk on ‘I Wanna Play For You’ while ‘Bass Folk Song No. 10’, builds up to some gloriously funky bass-thumping reminiscent of his School Days era.
It’s a matter of taste, but I’m less keen on some of the smoother moments such as ‘Here’s Why Tears Dry’. That said there’s some tremendous material, and Japanese jazz-piano sensation Hiromi, with whom Clarke only recently recorded, lifts the pieces to another level with her brief flashes of ivory brilliance.
Clarke’s tribute track ‘Sonny Rollins’ stands out a mile, with its sensational double bass solo opener and non-stop carnival groove. Neil McKim