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Stanley Clarke - School Days CD (album) cover

SCHOOL DAYS

Stanley Clarke

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.60 | 44 ratings

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Flucktrot
Prog Reviewer
2 stars If you like extended bass solos--for minutes on end--then this is an album for you. I'm not one of those people. There's a continuum of bass usage, from barely audible and/or just playing quarter notes to fast and complex soloing. I suppose my preference is somewhere in the middle, with complex and melodious bass that complements the song itself and what the other players are doing. Despite the who's who of guest musicians, it's clear that Stan's the man on this one, for better or worse.

For example, the opening and title track, School Days, starts off building on a nice bass groove, with some nice guitar work and percussion, and then for the next four minutes it's the Clarke solo show. This is a common theme, although Cobham and Brown on percussion typically manage to make meaningful contributions in that department even during solo time. This same general pattern repeats itself--although with certainly more planning, musical content and arrangement--on the finale, Life is Just a Game. This song just feels very disjointed, with a fairly generic main theme, some pretty good jamming, some forgettable singing and humming from Clarke, and the fusion standard fast unison staccato playing (I've always wondered why so many fusion albums contain these segments...they really don't do much for me).

If you can't get enough fusion, or if you really like bass solos, or if you just want to hear the range of notable guest musicians, then this may be a good album to pick up. Other than that, there are numerous fusions albums to track down before School Days would pop up on your radar.

Flucktrot | 2/5 |

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