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Stanley Clarke - I Wanna Play For You CD (album) cover

I WANNA PLAY FOR YOU

Stanley Clarke

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

2.68 | 9 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars A strange album, this is Clarke's 6th and it's half-live album (Calderone Theatre in June 78), but most of the usual suspects are not very present: Duke on 2 tracks, Dee Dee on one and Back & Gadd only on one. Clarke is letting his afro haircut grow in search of obvious pop-star recognition and indeed the music is taking that direction. Curiously recorded in the UK for the studio, while the other half is an LA thing, the album is rather disjointed, often veering to disco with those clapping beats. Notable jazzmen Stan Getz and Freddie Hubbard and guitarist Ritenour make one appearance each, but none leave a lasting impression, except on the guest list.

Opening on the pleasant bluesy-funk vocoder-filled complex funk-jazz title track (it would easily find space on Modern Man as would the short Strange weather), the album's first side quickly slips into a soul-disco-ish-funk MOR/AOR stuff that can only irritate (Feeling, ), despite the obvious talent of all concerned. Streets is reminiscent of a funkier version that era's Santana, while Together again is insufferable with those awful fake handclaps.. The Mingus homage is short and uninteresting and way too standard-jazzy for the rest of the album.

The flipside is mainly live and includes Clarke classics School Days and Quiet Afternoon, and we are finding the excellent JR/F that we know Stan The Man can do (so why doesn't he in the studios?), and obviously these tracks triple the album's value to most progheads. Indeed Clarke's nine-man band (including a four-man horn section) is quite gifted and the rawk the heck out of you. Strangely enough, they chose to insert a Beck/Gadd/Cochran track from the previous year, but it goes almost unnoticed in the middle of the Calderone Theatre tracks. If it wasn't for this live facet, the overall level of the album would probably sink deep because the first side is completely disjointed and wouldn't be worth the proghead's attention.

Sean Trane | 3/5 |

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