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Stanley Clarke

A brilliant player on both acoustic and electric basses, Stanley Clarke has spent much of his career outside of jazz, although he has the ability to play jazz with the very best. He played accordion as a youth, switching to violin and cello before settling on bass. He worked with R&B and rock bands in high school, but after moving to New York he worked with Pharoah Sanders in the early '70s. Other early gigs were with Gil Evans, Mel Lewis, Horace Silver, Stan Getz, Dexter Gordon, and Art Blakey; everyone was impressed by his talents. However, Clarke really hit the big time when he started teaming up with Chick Corea in Return to Forever. When the group became a rock-oriented fusion quartet, Clarke mostly emphasized electric bass and became an influential force, preceding Jaco Pastorius. But, starting with his School Days album (1976) and continuing through his funk group with George Duke (the Clarke/Duke Project) and his projects writing movie scores, Stanley Clarke largely moved beyond the jazz world into commercial music, notable exceptions during the '80s and '90s including his 1988 Portrait album If This Bass Could Only Talk and his 1995 collaboration with Jean-Luc Ponty and Al DiMeola on the acoustic The Rite of Strings.

Clarke signed with Sony in the early 21st century, releasing Find Out and 1, 2, to the Bass before leaving the label. In 2006 he recorded Standards for the independent Kind of Blue imprint, an innovative -- even radical -- live-to-two-track, no-overdub set with drummer Leon "Ndugu" Chancler and pianist Patrice Rushen. In 2007 Clarke released the double album Toys of Men, his debut for Heads Up Records, as well as a live DVD entitled Night School: An Evening with Stanley Clarke & Friends. In 2008 he reunited with Return to Forever for a second time, for an acclaimed tour that produced a live album and DVD. In 2010 he released The Stanley Clarke Band on Heads Up/Concord. The band included Japanese pianist Hiromi, keyboardist Ruslan Sirota, drummer Ronald Bruner, Jr., and a slew of guest performers. ~ Scott Yanow & Thom Jurek
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

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One thing a bout clarke he just a bout always bring the funk. Hes the quickest slickest basses*hes the man.
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Hey! Why is there no mention of Vertú?
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Enjoy your style of music keep it coming helen
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Return to Forever �� Returns
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He's been my bass hero since 1977, when I started playing the electric bass in junior high stage band. He and Eddie Gomez! They were my main inspirationa l players...
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There will never be a more amazing bassist than Mr Stanley Clarke
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My son adore stanly
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I've listened to Stanley since early 70's,there is no one like him.
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Yes indeed, awesome! Now this tune SCHOOL DAYS surely takes me back to some cool moments past! Thank GOD 4 music & extraordinar y musicians as Stanley Clarke! : )
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STILL MR. BASS!
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'School Days ' just came on my Pandora following 'Romantic Warrior' by RTF... I'm 14 again !
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Laid back, silky smooth music, timeless
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Love it
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one of the best bass players i've have the pleasure of listening to Mr. Clarke
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Hey Stanley! My Wife, Elder Gerard & Gwen Washington Treated Me To Your Presence For My Birthday Last Year At Blues Alley Last Year For My 60th Birthday! We Sat Almost In Reaching Distance, To Your Right. What A Wonderful Performance With Your Most Talented Youth Under Your Mentorship! Look Forward To The Next Enjoyable Performance! ! ! GOD'S Blessings Upon All You Do!!! Love This!!!
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Love his music -FUNK
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Love this music. Excellent funk
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You are the Man!!! Mr Clarke enjoy your music forever.
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Have been following stanely clarke since return to forever with chic and Al the man is bad to the bone
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Saw Stanley in Vegas, intimate setting, left amazed!! He signed posters and also took pics; very cool brother!
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We Love you Stan Thanks for the 70 s and the 80 s and the 90 s and so no I love your Music Dearly
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Listened to "SCHOOL DAYS" everyday for my last 2 yrs of high school. Ray Gomez on guitar complements Clarke's playing in a BIG way X
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NO ONE plays bass like Stanley... My favorite since the seventies!!!
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loved it when raymond gomez played with him in the early days (late 70's). with the horn section they were amazing!! they opened for george benson that night and after stanley, george proceeded to put us all to sleep!! LOL!! True story!!!
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Im having fun listing to all this good jazzzzz
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School Days - Life is Just a Game. I could play that with my right pinky...not
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School Days is great!
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philippepelu s o
Daryl Brown (drummer) on my favorites hits album: I wanna play for you, does a super job!
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Doing it for 40 and why not.
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leoshalman
who's playing drums on Funk is it's own Reward?
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Goodbye, Porkpie Hat is a cold Killer TRACK
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philippepelu s o
Class, style and skills.... what a treat!
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He does a lot of musical scores for movies as well
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clroberts55
Stanley would blow your mind, then give it back with his style and enthusiasm. Return to Forever showcased his talentbon another level. The solo with Gregory Hines on IF THIS BASS COULD TALK made me look at this artist as a genius. .
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Awesome!!!!!
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There is no other 4 string master..
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first seen in person with george duke, blew me away.
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Listened to this album every day of school @ Roman Catholic High in Philly it set the mood for all my "School Days" lol
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Many different dimensions to this work. Like master chess player he could see many moves ahead. His range of play on the bass is notable. Nice finish. I wore out this album in my younger years.
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ksimon24
First saw Stanley at the Palladium in New York when it first opened in 1976. I was just getting into jazz then, and the opening band was John McLaughlin. Stanley and John played together in the first encore, almost a battle competition of Stanley's bass against John's acoustic guitar, each imitating a riff the other one played. Stanley finally gave up after an incredibly intricate verse from John; Stanley, the consummate gentleman. His music never get old!
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My goodness, this song is eternal to the core. It's timeless beyond time.
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Stanley Clarke was born to play the bass,either that or the bass was invented for him to play.....
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Just makes you want to turn it up real loud.
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electrifying muic
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greenroselar r y
saw return to forever many time in my youth touched my soul
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Dude is TREMENDOUS!! ! ! From a freshman in Ann Arbor til now when i'm 57 yrs. old. Great, great fun memorable times. Thanx!
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tharris92
Stanley Clarke!!!!!! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! What else is there to say?
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What can I say, Stanly Clark the most precisioned basist I have ever seen. I had the distinct pleaure of seeing him on two different ocassions. Both time was a dream come true. But I must say when I saw him in 1976 when he performed with his band in Cleveland Ohio @ the Agora night club was the place to be. Also, if you get a chance, check out the fine talent that played with him during the recording and tour of the School Days Album. Sensational! ! !
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Saw Stanley Clarke live in Greensboro, the man is amazing !!!!!
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bobbyconrad
This song is nice! This man can blow!! Amazingly sexy!!!
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