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Stanley Clarke - Rocks, Pebbles And Sand CD (album) cover


Stanley Clarke


Jazz Rock/Fusion

2.82 | 21 ratings

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3 stars I dare say that Stanley Clarke's solo work is always going live in the shadow created by his former band, the highly regarded fusion giants Return To Forever. That's not surprising really as although I only have a handful of his solo albums in my collection, the ones I have heard rarely, if ever scale the heights of excellence that RTF achieved. That's not to say he hasn't produced anything worthwhile and Rocks, Pebbles and Sand does have some fine moments.

Naturally he's assembled an excellent cast of high calibre players including the superb drummer Simon Phillips. Musically the material incorporates elements of jazz, funk, rock and soul and of course Clarke's trademark bass sound, often hitting more than one note at a time and part slap and pull funk, is all over the place. Overall, side one (of the original vinyl version) is the better, side two being marred by the drippy soul ballad You/Me Together and the novelty funk of We Supply. A bit better is the three part The Story Of A Man And A Woman which moves disappointingly from a high octane fusion start, She Thought I Was Stanley Clarke into the soul-lite A Fool Again. Fortunately for the third part, I Nearly Went Crazy (Until I Realized What Had Occurred), things improve as it moves back into jazz rock territory.

Getting back to the more consistent side one, Danger Street is heavy rock and All Hell Broke Loose incorporates a more funky and fusion vibe. The title track is a showcase for Clarke's bass work as he weaves around a simple soulful keyboard line aided by some soaring lead guitar. Underestimation is a good side closer and is an upbeat blend soul and funk with rock overtones.

Not Clarke's greatest solo outing then but the consistent side one lifts things enough to warrant a 3 star rating.

Nightfly | 3/5 |


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