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Stanley Clarke - School Days CD (album) cover

SCHOOL DAYS

Stanley Clarke

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.61 | 47 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Stooge
5 stars School Days was not my first Stanley Clarke experience, but it did plenty to reinforce that this bassist from Return To Forever was one worth seeing in the spotlight. On School Days, Stanley Clarke's fourth solo album, he takes the spotlight and runs with it.

The strumming bass riff of the album's title track is a thing of beauty, and as a bass player myself, quite a fun song to play along with. No wonder Stanley plays "School Days" on virtually every gig!!

"Quiet Afternoon" brings the tempo of the album down a bit, with a name perfectly suited to the music. This is very relaxing song where the keys gets to shine.

"The Dancer" starts off with an amusing assortment of percussion (with some whistles thrown into the mix) and driven by a funky Clarke bassline. Some great lead guitar work by Ray Gomez plays as the track fades out.

"Desert Song" sees fusion favorite John McLaughlin on acoustic guitar with Clarke now behind the upright bass. Stanley switches between playing with a bow and plucking the strings, showcasing his versatility as a bassist. "Desert Song" is an entertaining duet (plus some percussion) between two legendary musicians.

The brief "Hot Fun" is the most rock n roll moment of the album in both length and simplicity. "Hot Fun" is what one might consider being filler, but it is good filler.

The album's finale, "Life Is Just A Game", has a strong melody (first heard on guitar at around the 1:00 mark and repeated often). This is most certainly the jazziest moment of the album, especially in the intro of the song. Stanley even does some brief vocal work that is surprisingly good. The transition to the rambunctious instrumental/solo section was smooth, as was the return to the main theme.

Each of the six tracks on School Days has a distinct identity, and the album is a great blend of jazz and rock. A 5-star essential of the fusion genre!!!

Stooge | 5/5 |

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