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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, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

School Days - Life is Just a Game. I could play that with my right pinky...not
School Days is great!
philippepelu s o
Daryl Brown (drummer) on my favorites hits album: I wanna play for you, does a super job!
Doing it for 40 and why not.
leoshalman
who's playing drums on Funk is it's own Reward?
Goodbye, Porkpie Hat is a cold Killer TRACK
philippepelu s o
Class, style and skills.... what a treat!
He does a lot of musical scores for movies as well
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. .
Awesome!!!!!
There is no other 4 string master..
first seen in person with george duke, blew me away.
Listened to this album every day of school @ Roman Catholic High in Philly it set the mood for all my "School Days" lol
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.
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!
My goodness, this song is eternal to the core. It's timeless beyond time.
Stanley Clarke was born to play the bass,either that or the bass was invented for him to play.....
Just makes you want to turn it up real loud.
electrifying muic
greenroselar r y
saw return to forever many time in my youth touched my soul
Dude is TREMENDOUS!! ! ! From a freshman in Ann Arbor til now when i'm 57 yrs. old. Great, great fun memorable times. Thanx!
tharris92
Stanley Clarke!!!!!! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! What else is there to say?
moerobd
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! ! !
Saw Stanley Clarke live in Greensboro, the man is amazing !!!!!
bobbyconrad
This song is nice! This man can blow!! Amazingly sexy!!!
Raymond Gomez plays guitar on school days.
mark9622
Just saw the Dude this past Summer with RTF, still The Man.
There is only one, First, or original Pioneer. Epic show.
luv stan...schoo l days!
I just heard this for the first time........ w h e r e the HELL have I been. GREAT CUT!!!!!!!
alanbrock16
I miss the Hub aswell, saw him several times live - always a treat.
Sweet!!! Blows me away! Far, far away
Who played guitar on the School Days LP?
Freddie Hubbard on the horn (RIP)
Everytime I listen to this tune I miss the Hub!!! Hub lives on.
Oh yeah ! Got my wings tucked for super sonic...,.Bo o m !
dgrant117
beautiful
I still want to cry when I hear this classic. Stanley at his best, and being totally nasty.
photodive
This songs was recorded in 1976 and still blows me away every time I hear it, Stanley is timeless and amazing! What an incredible bass player and artist.
u can never get tiered of stanley clarke i started whith him when i was 16 till this day hes stiil one of the best
I am still crazy about this killer composition, and it is as funky as when it first came out back in the day. I am getting goose bumps now , just writing this comment.
rmink6
I could not say it any better than that
i've been listening to stanley clarke since 1972....and still enjoy his music today.... one of the..... if not the best bass player of our time.
Learning to play School Days has been my musical Opus. Thank you Stanley for your gift.
ryounger0
Thank you Mr. Clarke. I remember the Berkeley Comunity Theature You and Lee R. My first LP School Days. All the best Sir.
Reginald Younger Jr.
Had the pleasure of attending a return to forever concert while attending Hampton Institute in the 70s,needless to say all four band members each had solo albums and played tracks from each. Till this day friends from HI continue to talk about that evening with Stanley,Chic k ,Al and Lenny. Need I say more, THE SHOW WAS OFF THE HOOK!!!!!!!! ! ! ! ! !
It is Funny That At The End Of The Day That This will Revive The Mine and Heal The Sore places in The Soul
jdbrown239
I have loved his sound since the first time i saw Return to Forever in '76'
Phenominal artist
jobrien909
Bootsy Collins couldnt hold Stanleys Bass
jrollins57
Saw him at Beacon with RTF AND in Tarrytown in his trio! OMG!!! THE GOD OF LOW FREQUENCES!! ! ! !
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