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Stanley Clarke - Children Of Forever CD (album) cover


Stanley Clarke


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.29 | 27 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars The vocals no doubt will be the "make it or break it" for most music fans. Stanley's debut is an instrumental jewel to be sure and for me rivals his self-titled follow-up as my favourite from him. The vocals are provided by a male and a female and lets just say it's hard for me not to smile when either of them are singing. Both are so into their vocals and i'm sure most would roll their eyes at them. I don't mind them but I wouldn't play this in front of anyone either (haha). It's hard not to compare this to Chick Corea's debut album "Return To Forever". The title being the obvious link. Chick does play some amazing electric piano on this record and he also produced it. He adds clavinet and also acoustic piano on one track only. Lenny White is his usual brilliant self on the drum kit. We also get flute and some guitar.

I was glad to see Hugues mention the Zeuhl flavour on the opening track because to my ears it was pretty strong. We also get that Zeuhl flavour on the closing number. It's just so cool to hear Clarke throbbing away while White pounds it out as we get that Zeuhl rhythm with Corea playing electric piano over top. The male vocals are the focus though to start on the title track "Children Of Forever" then it becomes Zeuhl-like around 1 1/2 minutes in. It's pretty intense after 3 minutes. The flute comes and goes throughout. Vocals are back before 6 1/2 minutes. Female backing vocals 8 1/2 minutes in to the end. "Unexpected Days" is mellow with a light beat, keys, flute and bass as the female vocals join in. It picks up after a minute as male vocals join in. These contrasts continue. I like the instrumental section 3 minutes in. Love the electric piano. She's back 4 minutes in. "Bass Folk Song" opens with flute and more then Clarke comes to the fore with a bass solo. Electric piano and flute join in as the drums continue. The bass is chunky. It's intense after 2 minutes and we get some clavinet too. Great sound again 6 1/2 minutes in as it turns intense.

"Butterfly Dreams" opens with acoustic piano as male vocals join in along with bass, drums and flute. Intricate but uptempo guitar comes in when the vocals stop. Vocals are back and he's doing his Sinatra impression. So much going on 5 minutes in. "Sea Journey" is the 16 1/2 minute closer. Flute, drums, keys and bass standout early then the female vocals join in. Love the instrumental section before 3 minutes with the bass, drums and electric piano dominating. Zeuhlish is the word. The intensity lifts around 6 minutes and vocals return. Bowed bass after 8 minutes with electric piano and drums creates an amazing soundscape after the vocals have stopped. Flute before 12 minutes then the intensity breaks 12 1/2 minutes and the vocals return once again. There's that Zeuhl flavour again after 14 minutes. Nice.

For me this is a solid 4 stars but buyer beware as the vocals aren't for everyone.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |


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