Sunday, August 31, 2014

Stanley Clarke UP Mack Avenue 2014

 
The Stanley Clarke Band and UP! Ridiculously good!
 
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
 
Some artists you simply don't review, they review themselves. Stanley Clarke has hit the harmonic mother load with UP! Clarke more than gets by with a little help from his friends including Stewart Copeland, Joe Walsh and Chick Corea. The sound is vibrant and an equal mix of acoustic and electric explorations including expanding his Bass Folk Song repertoire. The funk is fresh and contemporary and not deconstructed but tweaked to fit the style of the musical co-conspirators that join him on this adventure.
 
Perhaps the two most interesting pieces are reharms of "School Days" and "Brazilian Love Affair" which is dedicated to the late George Duke. The new compositions are funk-tastic with the acoustic numbers standing out as some of his finest. Everything is on point, the mix is perfect and the Clarke sound is flawless. Arguably his finest recording to date. As I have often said, "You never review genius, you celebrate genius." The positive vibe and spirit of Clarke runs from teenagers that are playing here including pianist Beka Gochiashvili and drummer Mike Mitchell all the way to some of the older guard including the legendary Chick Corea.
 
Old school flips up to new cool! You can go home again!
 
 
Tracks: Pop Virgil; Last Train To Sanity; UP; Brazilian Love Affair; Bass Folk Song #13: Mingus; I Have Something To Tell You Tonight; Trust; Bass Folk Song #7: Tradition; Gotham City; Bass Folk Song #14: Dance of the Giant Hummingbird / Bass Folk Song #15: Eleuthera Island. School Days; La Cancion de Sofia.