Jazz / Fusion | Language: English
Over the years, Jaco Pastorius has gained a lot of fame for delivering the electric from the bonds of background obscurity to solo freedom. However, about the time he was blazing a trail of innovation, another bassist was carving a path of his own. Stanley Clarke burst onto the jazz scene in 1971 and quickly found himself working alongside such notables as Art Blakey, Dexter Gordon, Stan Getz and Chick Corea. With Corea, Clarke was a member of Return to Forever, which recorded eight albums and scored a Grammy award and several nominations. Since then, Clarke has collaborated with George Duke and Maynard Ferguson, among others, as well as become a bandleader. Above all, he continues to be recognized as a master of not only the electric bass but also the acoustic bass and piccolo bass. Clarke is a strong believer in teaching music—not just how to perform but also production and business aspects of the profession. Night School: An Evening with Stanley Clarke & Friends is a DVD presentation of his work with the Musicians Institute in Hollywood, California. The package, portions of which have been shown on television, features an October 2002 concert, the third annual concert for the Scholarship Fund at the Institute.
The concert features Clarke with an all-star lineup of musicians performing several of his compositions, including collaborative works with Duke and Corea, and jazz standards by Charles Mingus and John Coltrane (Giant Step). Among those performing with Clarke are violinist Karen Briggs; drummers Gerry Brown, Rayford Griffin and Stewart Copeland; Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers; Bela Fleck and Stevie Wonder. Comedian Sinbad adds a brief comedy bit during which he talks about the importance of music education and directs a few quips toward bassist Marcus Miller.
Whether fingering or slapping, Clarke makes both the acoustic and the electric bass sizzle. One high point of the performance comes during Big Jam, on which Flea and Clarke share electric bass duties. Copeland and Sheila E. perform a drum duet before the latter solos on her trademark timbales and cowbells. Another comes at the end of the concert, when a host of bassists join in the fun for Clarke School Days.Among the soloists given a chance to stretch out are Miller, Alex Al, Billy Sheehan, Stewart Hamm, Jimmy Johnson, Wayman Tisdale and Brian Bromberg. Review On Allaboutjazz.com