Stanley Clarke: Jazz in the Garden (2009)

By Published: | 4,335 views
How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

Stanley Clarke: Jazz in the Garden
Bassist Stanley Clarke has explored many musical genres throughout his storied career, crossing and re-crossing musical boundaries to collaborate with everyone from Art Blakey
Art Blakey
Art Blakey
1919 - 1990
drums
and Joe Henderson
Joe Henderson
Joe Henderson
1937 - 2001
sax, tenor
to Chick Corea
Chick Corea
Chick Corea
b.1941
piano
and Al Di Meola
Al Di Meola
Al Di Meola
b.1954
guitar
. So it's surprising that Jazz in the Garden is his maiden voyage as the leader of an acoustic band.

Clarke's stylistic diversity is on display throughout this album. He uses his famous fret slapping technique during his solo on "Paradigm Shift." Pianist Hiromi
Hiromi
Hiromi
b.1979
piano
blends block chords and arpeggios fluidly, with drummer Lenny White
Lenny White
Lenny White
b.1949
drums
adding sparkling cymbal highlights. Clarke's plucking on the lovely folk song "Sakura Sakura" echoes the koto and sets the tone for Hiromi's atmospheric strumming of the piano strings. The hard bop burner "Isotope" recalls Clarke and White's days playing with the great saxophonist Joe Henderson, who penned the tune. The trio's take on Miles Davis' "Solar" might be its finest hour. Hiromi plays Gatling-gun arpeggios, White is a polyrhythmic demon and there's a clever role reversal as Hiromi lays down a bass line on the piano beneath Clarke's melodic pizzicato. On Hiromi's arrangement of Red Hot Chili Peppers' "Under the Bridge," Clarke makes his acoustic bass sound downright funky.

Although mainly a trio album, Jazz in the Garden includes a few solid duets. Clarke's luminous pizzicato and Hiromi's tender underpinnings imbue the timeless melody of "Someday My Prince Will Come" with a beautiful melancholy. They also improvise on the excellent "Global Tweak" with the coordination and synchronicity of a pair that's been together for years. Similarly, hearing Clarke and White work out on "Take the Coltrane" is like walking in on two old buddies showing off their carefully cultivated chops. The album's defining moment, though, is Clarke's "Bass Folk Song No. 5 & 6." With the melodic power and haunting resonance of this solo tour de force, Clarke leaves a blueprint for present and future generations of bassists to follow.

Track Listing: Paradigm Shift (Election Day 2008); Sakura Sakura; Sicilian Blue; Take the Coltrane; 3 Wrong Notes; Someday My Prince Will Come; Isotope; Bass Folk Song No. 5 & 6; Global Tweak; Solar; Brain Training; Under the Bridge.

Personnel: Stanley Clarke: bass; Hiromi: piano; Lenny White: drums.

Record Label: Heads Up International

Style: Modern Jazz


comments powered by Disqus
Sponsor: Summit Records | BUY NOW

Enter it twice.
To the weekly jazz events calendar

Enter the numbers in the graphic
Enter the code in this picture

Log in

One moment, you will be redirected shortly.

or search site with Google