Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

7

Stanley Clarke: Stanley Clarke Band: The Message

Chris Mosey By

Sign in to view read count
Once upon a time, he was the enfant terrible of jazz bassists, whizz-kid of Chick Corea's Return to Forever. On his latest album, The Message, at the ripe old age of 66, Stanley Clarke is very much the elder statesman, standing back on the cover pic, arms crossed, letting the youngsters grab the limelight and not giving a damn.

Open up the sleeve and there's Clarke again, besuited, sitting in a leather armchair, holding his electric bass, cool and calm, surrounded by the dudes of his band, in ripped jeans, creative hairstyles and looking as though they have attitude problems.

The opening track is a requiem for recently departed musical luminaries Al Jarreau, Tom Petty (yes, Tom Petty), Chuck Berry (yes, Chuck Berry), Larry Coryell and Darryl Brown. Clarke seemingly wants you to know he does not approve of categorization when it comes to music, man.

The main ambience of the album is spacey, courtesy, Clarke says, of L. Ron Hubbard, sci-fi writer and founder of Scientology . But there are many digressions. "Lost in a World" and "After The Cosmic Rain/Dance of the Planetary Prince," leavened with girly back-up vocals, are pure pop. More importantly, "The Message" features the leader on acoustic guitar. It's a lovely number and a relief from the spacey hokum.

But "Combat Continuum" sees Clarke switching to Orson Welles-mode as -courtesy of voice actor Steve Blum -he broadcasts news of an alien invasion. Things are looking grim for Planet Earth until Blum reveals that it was all a linguistic misunderstanding; the aliens only wanted to help us heal the planet from the ecological damage we've inflicted on it.

Meanwhile, full marks, Commander Clarke, for a masterly Bach prelude, expertly bowed. But surely we could have been spared "To Be Alive"—the seemingly inevitable rap number. The message (perhaps from an older, wiser civilisation in a galaxy far, far away) is that even a great musician comes unstuck trying to be all things to all men... and women.

Track Listing: And Ya Know We’re Missing You; After The Cosmic Rain/Dance Of The Planetary Prince; The Rugged Truth; Combat Continuum; The Message; Lost In A World; Alternative Facts; Bach Cello Suite 1 (Prelude); The Legend Of The Abbas And The Sacred Talisman; Enzo’s Theme; To Be Alive.

Personnel: Stanley Clarke: guitar, bass; Beka Gochiashvili: piano; Cameron Graves, Pat Leonard, Dominique Taplin: synthesizers; Mike Mitchell: drums; Salar Nadar: tabla; Doug Webb: saxophone, flute; Chuck Findley, Ron Stout: trumpet, French horn; Dwayne Benjamin: trombone; Michael Thompson: guitar; Steve Blum, Skyeler Kole, Trevor Wesley, Sofia Sara Clarke, Chris Clarke, Doug E Fresh: vocals.

Title: Stanley Clarke Band: The Message | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: Mack Avenue Records

Tags

Watch

comments powered by Disqus

Upcoming Shows

Date Detail Price
Mar3Sun
Stanley Clarke
Revolution Hall
Portland, OR
$59
Apr20Sat
Stanley Clarke
Seine Musicale
Boulogne-billancourt, France
€35

Shop

Start your shopping here and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read East Of The Sun Album Reviews
East Of The Sun
By David A. Orthmann
January 18, 2019
Read Kresten Osgood Quintet Plays Jazz Album Reviews
Kresten Osgood Quintet Plays Jazz
By Mark Corroto
January 18, 2019
Read Rhythm Kaleidoscope Album Reviews
Rhythm Kaleidoscope
By Troy Dostert
January 18, 2019
Read Coast to Crossroads Album Reviews
Coast to Crossroads
By Chris M. Slawecki
January 18, 2019
Read Duologue Album Reviews
Duologue
By Dan Bilawsky
January 17, 2019
Read Chez Hélène Album Reviews
Chez Hélène
By Glenn Astarita
January 17, 2019
Read Original Demos Album Reviews
Original Demos
By Chris M. Slawecki
January 17, 2019