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Stanley Clarke - If This Bass Could Only Talk CD (album) cover


Stanley Clarke

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Ugh, no.

This is the pretentiousness at its worst. All the Clarke's skill and technicality couldn't save this album which is the lowest point an album can fall in the 80's era while not stepping too deep into smooth jazz and/or muzak level. The bass playing is, of course, in the forefront, but it's not stepping out of the swamp of the non-inspirative songwriting. It's nowhere near the indirect grandeur of Clarke's passages, neither stripped-down in-your-face hooking patterns neither the noble fusion ornaments.

The production is synthetic, or perhaps "flat" is closer to reality. There's not much I can say about this album, except that is probably the best if avoided. The only cool thing is the tune with unaccompanied bass - only with step dance sounds giving rhythm. There are a few moments here and there but it's hard to say are they better than the rest of the album, or is it just my standards fell lower after every listening, finally underlining less weak moments.

It's not horrible output that deserves the lowest rating, but it's certainly nowhere near good. Pity for all the effort, because it's impressive as a slap of a wet cloth in the face. Go elsewhere and look for something else.

Report this review (#224903)
Posted Tuesday, July 7, 2009 | Review Permalink
Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
2 stars Clarke2001 hits it right on the head with his assessment of this late 1980.s forgettable album from his manesake, Stanley. Me, I blame what the jazz industry had become at that time. Radio stations were popping up all over the United States pushing what they called "Smooth Jazz" or "The Quiet Storm", the code words for unobtrusive, uninspired easy listening with jazz- like solos. Perhaps this was the only type of music artists like Stanley Clarke could release at the time.

It's not a complete loss, however. The bass solos bookending the album are nice, although I could do without the sound of Gregory Hines' tap shoes used as a rhythm track. And hearing a version of "Lopsy Lu", hidden inside of the track "Workin' Man" was a treat.

Big disappointment from the version of the Mingus' classic "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat". I love that song. It does not deserve the watered down treatment it gets here.

Report this review (#225127)
Posted Wednesday, July 8, 2009 | Review Permalink

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