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Stanley Clarke - School Days CD (album) cover


Stanley Clarke


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.64 | 64 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Bass players will marvel over this. Stanley Clarke is one of the most skilled masters of the instrument, and on his fourth solo album he lets his hideously tremendous skills run rampant throughout the album. You will hear a few passages where Stanley seems to play complex figures at Mach 2; of all the bassist I've heard so far, only Jaco and Myung seem to be rivals in that regard.

It can get in the way of a good composition, and that's why the title track isn't so hot. While the bass chords at the beginning are astounding, ''School Days'' becomes nothing more than a solo excursion for three minutes too long. However, the follow-up ''Quiet Afternoon'' is so cliche on a fusion album as it is a softer, smoother song coming after a rockier one. It worked on the debut Mahavishnu Orchestra album, but here, it sounds stale.

''The Dancer'' and ''Hot Fun'' keep everything in check with the funk undertones and the relatively reserved playing. ''Desert Song'' is the track to watch out for; predominantly acoustic, this track showcases Clarke's versatility across the bass guitar spectrum with Clarke using a bow in one instance. ''Life Is Just a Game'' might be a prog highlight, but the lightweight Earth, Wind and Fire vocal lines, unison runs and overkill length get tiring.

A must-have for bass freaks, but it lacks an overall uniqueness to be a serious acquisition for a prog collection. SCHOOL DAYS is nice for a fusion collection, but ultimately not essential.

Sinusoid | 3/5 |


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