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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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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
2 stars Surprisingly enough after the no-specific line-up of Play For You, this album has Stan sharing the spotlight with three white boys who appear to be rockers, and indeed Rock, Pebbles & Sand is Stan's hardest album (to my knowledge anyway), but it doesn't stop it from sounding very AOR, post the few opening tracks. Nevermind the hope-inducing rock motorcycle artwork, this album stinks.

Despite the rather hard-rocking start of Danger Street and the Motor-driven intro All Hell Broke Loose, a fast-driving instrumental that rocks and overruns the engine and transmission and leads into the soft-starting synth-layered title track, another instrumental, where Stan's bass rules. Things go awry when the overestimated Underestimation enters and we get Stan's now acceptable vocals, but the songwriting is uninspired or simply it sounds like shit. Things go really wrong with the awful dreck track of You/Me Together, a soppy, sugared horrible love song sounding like a pre-Whitney track recorded in Houston. It gets even worse with the atrocious electro-funky We Supply (yup, they do?. loads of crap), but the following three-part 11-mins+ Story Of A Man And Woman is simply laughable, despite a semblance of prog stance, it is ruined by a disco beat and over-soulish vocals and backing vocals. This is still a remnant of the Modern Man-type of songwriting, but it loses its credibility, despite some good instrumentation passages. Shitty late 70's synth sounds just kill this semi-ambitious and proggy piece. This track is cheese enough to prepare a fondue for a whole barmy, but it's clearly the best on the flipside and the finale is rather correct.

It's rather hard to believe that this album was once released as a Contemporary Masters Columbia Jazz series (with the red frame around the artwork), because not only does it suck big bones (well the second half aqnyway), but it's absolutely nothing to do with Jazz. Just a piece of early 80's funk-disco crap, and probably one album that Stan The Man would rather forget he ever made. Best avoided, despite a correct start, but much worse is to come.

Sean Trane | 2/5 |


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