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


Stanley Clarke

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
3 stars This album is not half bad. By that I mean, half of it is bad. The first two songs are uninspred seventies disco, a lame funk riff and minimal lame lyrics over and over and over and over.... It could have been called "S.C and The Sunshine Band".

The next two songs are lame seventies "soul", by which I mean to say easy listening with supposedly romantic lyrics. In all of these four songs there are slight indications that it is Stanley Clarke on the bass, but nothing more.

We finally get to some listenable music at track 5, "Blues For Mingus", but at just over two minutes, the song begins to fade out. Just as it's getting interesting. The next track it just some noise.

The remainder of the album is lot's of fun. It's mostly live tracks, of good to very good (none great) sound quality. The studio recording of the standard, "Quiet Afternoon" is outstanding. As is Stanley's performance in all of the live tracks.

On strange thing is that "My Greatest Hits" fades out during the section representing "School Days", and "School Days" in full fades in right afterwards, sounding awkward.

I'd give this 2.5 stars, and since I love Stanley's playing, I'll round it up.

Report this review (#225076)
Posted Wednesday, July 8, 2009 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars I know that year 1979 wasn't good for fusion and jazz-rock. In fact ,it wasn't too much good for music at all. What we have here illustrates the result.

First song is funk-disco hit with no-bad bass line. But then things go down very fast. Second song is stupid endless repetative disco, killing all forms of life around it!Few other songs try to flirt with soul in jazzy arrangements, but drum machine kills all good ingridients.

"Blues For Mingus " is acoustic piano and heavy bass line standard, but too short, sounds out of place. After goes short instrumental combining synth ambient noise with some bass solos.

Second part of the album is some live recordings from different time and places. Both together it sounds as low budget release with strange target group of buyers.

Even if in rare places Clarke demonstrates his perfect bass lines, altogether that album is below level of acceptability.

Report this review (#242487)
Posted Friday, October 2, 2009 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
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.

Report this review (#321674)
Posted Tuesday, November 16, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars More a jazz-funk than fusion but still of a good quality unlike those from the 80's. There is good composing, focus on feeling and arrangements rather than fast soloing. "I wanna play for you" has a commercial vibe with vocal and lazy rhythm but compensates throwaway tendencies are saved by instrumental effort of keyboards and bass. "Together again" is another highlight, after 3 average sung tracks. Simple rhythm but good contemporary bass playing. "Blues for Mingus" is an acoustic bass conventional remembering of Charles Mingus. There are several live tracks on this double album, too. Let me highlight the rocking "Rock'n'roll Jelly" with Ray Gomez on the guitar and "Jamaican boy" with Jeff Beck with his typical muscular fusion mid-70's guitar. Even if you dislike Clarke's funky tendencies, you may be pleased with the high quality playing on the live tracks and hearing a few less conventional numbers.
Report this review (#2497254)
Posted Tuesday, January 26, 2021 | Review Permalink

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