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Stanley Clarke - Journey To Love CD (album) cover

JOURNEY TO LOVE

Stanley Clarke

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.32 | 32 ratings

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js (Easy Money)
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Journey to Love is the second in Stanley's trio of fusion/prog rock albums released in the mid 70s. Preceded by the ambitious self-titled Stanley Clarke, and followed by the tight focus of School Days, Journey has more in common with it's predecessor with it's over- reaching aspirations and sometimes not quite developed musical pastiches. That's not to say Journey is not a great album, it is, but not as great as the more developed and economical follow-up, School Days.

Journey follows a very similar overall schematic as the other two albums, a couple of barn- burning Jeff Beck styled rock/funk workouts, some EW&F future pop, a lengthy suite featuring thirdstream classical/jazz compositions and arrangements, and an acoustic number with McLaughlin and Corea onboard. As usual, the upbeat funk-rock numbers are exceptional with Silly Putty and Hello Jeff ranking with some of Stanley's best. Hello Jeff features an incredible uplifting guitar solo from guess who.

Less successful is acoustic number Song to John (Coltrane). It's not terrible, but sort of unfocused, meandering and bordering on new age jazz during it's first half, and overly busy and flashy in the second half. This thing in the mid 70s where musicians would 'trade licks' can be intense if used sparingly, but unfortunately little these guys did in the mid-70s was done 'sparingly'. Anyway, this number plows onward and sounds nothing like anything ever put out by Coltrane. Finally we get to the ambitious Concerto for Jazz Rock Orchestra, a title lofty enough to attract the attention of the most pretentious of the prog rock set.

This 'Concerto' opens with some nice Satie-like piano figures with string synthesizer before launching into progressive rock like orchestrated assaults, EW&F vocals, space funk and several high energy fusion workouts featuring the blistering guitar work of David Sancious. Taken individually all these sections are great, but it's hard to say if this all adds up to some sort of Concerto, doesn't matter really.

If you like the other two Clarke albums in this trilogy, as well as other progressive rock influenced fusioneers such as RTF, Mahavishnu and David Sancious, you will find a lot to like here.

js (Easy Money) | 3/5 |

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