Saturday, September 21, 2013

Stanley Clarke Time Exposure Funky Town Grooves 2013

Fresh from the jazz/funk witness protection program, Time Exposure is a rare gem from the incredible discography of perhaps the finest bassist of the modern era.!

Brent Black /

Funky is as funky does and Funkytown Grooves has reissued a gem here! Time Exposure is the epitome of "back in the day" despite being perhaps the most misunderstood work of Clarke's legendary career.  The vast majority of Clarke's contemporaries owe their career to some of the pyrotechnics found on this release from 1984. No one can touch Stanley Clarke when it comes to originality and the lyrical progression of the nastiest bass line to ever be recorded vinyl or otherwise.

Time Exposure split Clarke fans and critics right down the middle. You loved it or you hated it. Entrenched in the R&B / Funk fusion of the day by most reasonable accounts this release could slip quietly into what is attempting to pass for contemporary instrumental / smooth jazz fusion and chart immediately. The kicker being that the perennial groove masters of today still can not capture the melodic attack of the god father of  the jazz/funk movement in Stanley Clarke. Joining Clarke we have luminaries including Ernie Watts, George Duke and guitar great Jeff Beck. A specific genre of music is far too limiting when discussing the work of Stanley Clarke. Fusion is usually considered as a hybrid of two very unique genres of music. Clarke bent the framework of the traditional fusion concept to include improvisational jazz, R&B, funk, and soul proving his prolific talent extended well past the expansive reach of Return to Forever.

Outside of the crossover hit "Heaven Sent You" which features vocalist Howard Hewitt (Shalamar) the tunes here are tight with that zen like groove of less is more with no notes wasted. "Speedball" and "Future Shock" are two gems that the hard core Clarke fans should still enjoy while "Spacerunner" is the old school fusion vibe made new cool with the visceral fury that has become the Clarke calling card. This expanded addition includes the 7" and 12" mix of "Heaven Sent You" along with the 12" mixes of "Are You Ready For The Future" as well as "Speedball" and "Future."

While the ever popular Clarke/Duke Project may be the standard bearer for the more soulful side of Stanley Clarke, Time Exposure is a jazz nasty throw down that works as well today as it did 29 years ago. When purchasing reissued material the rule of thumb is buyer beware. Funky Town Grooves brings us this expanded addition and they have an amazing catalog from which to choose. Be sure and check them out at

Tracks: Play The Bass; Are You Ready; Speedball; Heaven Sent You; Time Exposure; Future Shock; Future; Spacerunner; I Know Just How You Feel.
Bonus: Heaven Sent You 7" and 12" mix; Are You Ready 12" mix; Speedball 12" mix; Future 12" mix.