All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

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

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Fat Daddy CD/LP/Track Review
Fat Daddy
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 19, 2018
Read Short Stories CD/LP/Track Review
Short Stories
by Gareth Thompson
Published: September 19, 2018
Read UHHM CD/LP/Track Review
UHHM
by John Bricker
Published: September 19, 2018
Read Decoy CD/LP/Track Review
Decoy
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 19, 2018
Read Paul Heller Meets Roman Schwaller CD/LP/Track Review
Paul Heller Meets Roman Schwaller
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 18, 2018
Read Change In The Air CD/LP/Track Review
Change In The Air
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 18, 2018
Read "SuperClusters" CD/LP/Track Review SuperClusters
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 21, 2018
Read "Song From No Man's Land" CD/LP/Track Review Song From No Man's Land
by Gareth Thompson
Published: April 17, 2018
Read "Alto Gusto" CD/LP/Track Review Alto Gusto
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 20, 2017
Read "Eternal Life" CD/LP/Track Review Eternal Life
by Jerome Wilson
Published: December 14, 2017
Read "Radio Omnibus" CD/LP/Track Review Radio Omnibus
by Geannine Reid
Published: June 26, 2018
Read "Reunion" CD/LP/Track Review Reunion
by Don Phipps
Published: November 27, 2017