Stanley Clarke – I Wanna Play For You (1979)

FrontCover1.jpgStanley Clarke (born June 30, 1951) is an American bassist and founding member of Return to Forever, one of the first jazz fusion bands. He has composed music for films and television and has worked with musicians in many genres. Like Jaco Pastorius, Clarke gave the bass guitar a prominence it lacked in jazz-related music. (by wikipedia)

A strange album, this is Clarke’s 6th and it’s half-live album (Calderone Theatre in June 78), but most of the usual suspects are not very present: Duke on 2 tracks, Dee Dee on one and Back & Gadd only on one. Clarke is letting his afro haircut grow in search of obvious pop-star recognition and indeed the music is taking that direction. Curiously recorded in the UK for the studio, while the other half is an LA thing, the album is rather disjointed, often veering to disco with those clapping beats. Notable jazzmen Stan Getz and Freddie Hubbard and guitarist Ritenour make one appearance each, but none leave a lasting impression, except on the guest list.

Opening on the pleasant bluesy-funk vocoder-filled complex funk-jazz title track (it would easily find space on Modern Man as would the short Strange weather), the album’s first side quickly slips into a soul-disco-ish-funk MOR/AOR stuff that can only irritate (Feeling, ), despite the obvious talent of all concerned. Streets is reminiscent of a funkier version that era’s Santana, while Together again is insufferable with those awful fake handclaps.. The Mingus homage is short and uninteresting and way too standard-jazzy for the rest of the album.

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The flipside is mainly live and includes Clarke classics School Days and Quiet Afternoon, and we are finding the excellent JR/F that we know Stan The Man can do (so why doesn’t he in the studios?), and obviously these tracks triple the album’s value to most progheads. Indeed Clarke’s nine-man band (including a four-man horn section) is quite gifted and the rawk the heck out of you. Strangely enough, they chose to insert a Beck/Gadd/Cochran track from the previous year, but it goes almost unnoticed in the middle of the Calderone Theatre tracks. If it wasn’t for this live facet, the overall level of the album would probably sink deep because the first side is completely disjointed and wouldn’t be worth the proghead’s attention. (by Sean Trane)

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.

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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.” Yet even the talented Clarke in full creative flower couldn’t quite fill a double set with new material, so he has a tendency to reprise some of his old memorable riffs a lot, and there are several energetic snapshots of his live band in action. In its zeal to get this two-LP set onto one disc, Epic deleted three of the original 15 tracks — including at least one gem, the sizzling hard rocker “All About” — and scrambled the order of the remaining tunes. Which is dumb, because the missing tracks only take up a bit less than 12 minutes of playing time, not enough to overload a 65-minute disc. Hunt for the double-LP version if you can still play vinyl. (by Richard S. Ginell)

And yes … here´s the vinyl edition of this album … and enjoy one of the greatest master of the bass guitar (listen his solo on “Jamaican Boy” and “My Greatest Hits” for example).

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Personnel:
Stanley Clarke (bass, syntheszier on 06. + 08., organ on 08., talkbox on 01. + 02., vocals)
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Jeff Beck (guitar on 03.)
Dee Dee Bridgewater (background vocals on 07.)
Darryl Brown (drums on 01., 02., 04., 05.,07., 11., 13., 14., 15.  cymbal on 06.)
Gerry Brown (drums on 10.)
Cathy Carson (vocals on 08., 09.)
Bayeté Todd Cochran (synthesizer on 01., 06., 09.,10., 12., 15. keyboards on 03.)
Juanita Curiel (vocals on 08., 09.)
George Duke (piano on 07., 08.)
Ronnie Foster (piano on 09.)
Steve Gadd (drums on 03.)
Michael Garson (synthesizer on 01., 11., 15.,  piano on 11. 12., 14.)
Stan Getz (saxophone on 09.)
Raymond Gomez (guitar on 01., 10., 11., 15.)
Al Harrison (trumpet on 01., 10., 11., 15.)
Freddie Hubbard (flugelhorn on 12.)
Phil Jost (organ on 01.)
David DeLeon (bass on 11.)
Bob Malach (saxophone on 01., 10., 11., 15.)
Harvey Mason (drums on 07., 08., 09.)
Airto Moreira (percussion on 02.)
Gwen Owens (vocals on 08., 09.)
Lee Ritenour (guitar on 09.)
Peter Robinson (synthesizer on 10.)
Tom Scott (saxophone on 04., lyricon on 07., 08.)
James Tinsley (trumpet on 01., 10., 11., 15.)
Al Williams (saxophone on 01., 10., 11., 15.)

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Tracklist:
01. Rock ‘N’ Roll Jelly (Clarke) 2.36
02. All About (Clarke) 5.17
03. Jamaican Boy (Clarke) 3.32
04. Christopher Ivanhoe (Clarke) 3.25
05. My Greatest Hits (Clarke) 6.26
06. Strange Weather (Clarke) 1.45
07. I Wanna Play For You (Clarke) 6.19
08. Just A Feeling (Clarke)
09. The Streets Of Philadelphia (Clarke) 6.03
10. School Days (Clarke) 10.46
11. Quiet Afternoon (Clarke) 8.58
12. Together Again (Garson) 5.45
13. Blues For Mingus (Clarke) 2.19
14. Off The Planet (Clarke) 3.12
15. Hot Fun-Closing (Clarke) 7.49

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Various Artists – Jazz Fusion (1996)

FrontCover1Jazz fusion, fusion, or jazz rock is a musical genre that developed in the late 1960s from mixing funk and rhythm and blues rhythms with the electric instruments, amplified sound, electronic effects and playing styles of rock music together with jazz’s complex time signatures (which were derived from non-Western music) and jazz’s complex chord progressions and altered and extended chords. Fusion musicians typically create extended instrumental compositions based around a melody and a chord progression and lengthy solo improvisations. Fusion songs use brass instruments such as trumpet and saxophone as melody and soloing instruments. The rhythm section typically consists of electric bass (in some cases fretless), electric guitar, electric piano/synthesizer (in contrast to the double bass and piano used in earlier jazz) and drums. As with jazz forms that preceded fusion, all of the instruments–including the rhythm section instruments–are used as soloing instruments and all demonstrate a high level of instrumental technique.

FusionJazzThe term “jazz-rock” is often used as a synonym for “jazz fusion” as well as for music performed by late 1960s and 1970s-era rock bands that added jazz elements to their music. It is different from the UK Canterbury Scene’s progressive rock (“prog”) and other forms of prog-jazz fusion, in which extended prog instrumentals use improvisation and take on a jazz-influenced feel. After a decade of popularity during the 1970s, fusion expanded its improvisatory and experimental approaches through the 1980s, in parallel with the development of a radio-friendly style called smooth jazz. Experimentation continued in the 1990s and 2000s. Fusion albums, even those that are made by the same group or artist, may include a variety of musical styles. Rather than being a codified musical style, fusion can be viewed as a musical tradition or approach. (by wikipedia)

And this is just a sampler with Jazz Fusion … maybe it´s time for you to discover this kind of music … certainly not the worst idea. ! Most of the tracks were recorded during the Seventies … a golden decade for Fusion Jazz !

BackCover1Tracklist:
01. George Benson: Take Five (1974) (Desmond) 3.43
02. Herbie Hancock: Watermelon Man (1974) (Hancock) 5.00
03. Earth Wind & Fire: Love Music (1978) (Scarborough) 3.57
04. Astrud Gilberto: Zazueira (1971) (Ben) 3.42
05. Keith Jarrett: Common Mama (1972) (Jarrett) 8.12
06. Ned Doheny: To Prove My Love (1976) (Doheny) 4.50
07. Ramsey Lewis: Tequila Mockingbird (1977) (Dunn) 5.27
08. George Duke: Look Waht You Find (1979) (Duke) 4.46
09. Deodato: Super Strut (1973) (Deodato) 4.58
10. Stanley Clarke: Rock N Roll Jelly (1979) (Clarke) 2.36
11. Hubert Laws: Family (1980) (Laws) 7.30
12. Lee Ritenour: Theme From Three Day Of The Condor (1976) (Grusin) 4.07
13, Bill Withers: Use (1985) (Withers) 3.49
14. Santana: Tales Of Kilimanjaro (1981) (Santana/Peraza/Rekow/Pasqua) 3.29
15. Weather Report: Black Market (1976) (Zawinul) 6.14
16. Grover Washington Jr.: Love Like This (1992) (Roman/Cox) 4.49

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