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Stanley Clarke

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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Stanley Clarke Journey To Love album cover
3.48 | 52 ratings | 5 reviews | 21% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1975

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Silly Putty (4:52)
2. Journey to Love (4:52)
3. Hello Jeff (5:16)
4. Song to John, Part 1 (4:22)
5. Song to John, Part 2 (6:09)
6. Concerto for Jazz/Rock Orchestra, Parts 1-4 (14:25)

Total Time 39:21

Line-up / Musicians

- Stanley Clarke / acoustic, piccolo & electric basses, organ (3), gong, bells, vocals, arranger, conductor & co-producer

- David Sancious / electric & 12-string guitars (1,2,6)
- Jeff Beck / electric guitar (2,3)
- John McLaughlin / acoustic guitar (4,5)
- George Duke / organ, piano, electric piano, clavinet, synthesizers (Mini-Moog, Arp Odyssey / String Ensemble), bells & vocals (1,2,6)
- Chick Corea / piano (4,5)
- Earl Chapin / horn
- John Clark / horn
- Wilmer Wise / horn
- Peter Gordon / horn
- Tom "Bones" Malone / trombone
- David Taylor / trombone
- Jon Faddis / trumpet
- Lew Soloff / trumpet
- Alan Rubin / trumpet
- Steve Gadd / drums & percussion (1,2,6)
- Lenny White / drums (3)

Releases information

Artwork: Bob Defrin

LP Nemperor Records - NE 433 (1975, US)

CD Epic ‎- EPC 468221 2 (1991, Austria) Remastered
CD Epic ‎- EK 36974 (2005, US)

Thanks to Stooge for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Buy STANLEY CLARKE Journey To Love Music

STANLEY CLARKE Journey To Love ratings distribution

(52 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(21%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(37%)
Good, but non-essential (37%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

STANLEY CLARKE Journey To Love reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars Despite the title and subdued album cover photo, this is not a light collection of adult contemporary radio fluff, like too many seventies fusion albums. This is a powerhouse of a collection of mostly standout progressive fusion, some of it as good as any fusion of the time.

"Silly Putty" is a funky bass driven song. A good song, but a bit too reminiscent of "Lopsy Lu", from Stanley Clarke's previous album. Both "Silly Putty" and "Lopsy Lu" became regular features of Clarke's live perfomances.

The title track, "Journey To Love", is the radio friendly fluff mentioned above. But at least the song is not badly written. But Stanley's Earth Wind & Fire style falsetto is amusing.

"Hello Jeff" is a rocking piece, featuring some obscure guitarist named Jeff Beck.

"Song To John" is a more traditional jazz piece. The first part features Clarke on bowed acoustic bass, the second is an acoustic trio with Chick Corea and John McLaughlin. This is a fantastic jazz piece.

"Concerto for Jazz/Rock Orchestra, Parts 1-4" is the standout piece here. It's an amazing Return To Forever styled opus. Stanley's playing on this is incredible. And there are horn sections that rival some of Zappa's best arrangements.

4.5 stars.

Review by Easy Money
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Journey to Love is the second in Stanley's trio of fusion/prog rock albums released in the mid 70s. Preceded by the ambitious self-titled Stanley Clarke, and followed by the tight focus of School Days, Journey has more in common with it's predecessor with it's over- reaching aspirations and sometimes not quite developed musical pastiches. That's not to say Journey is not a great album, it is, but not as great as the more developed and economical follow-up, School Days.

Journey follows a very similar overall schematic as the other two albums, a couple of barn- burning Jeff Beck styled rock/funk workouts, some EW&F future pop, a lengthy suite featuring thirdstream classical/jazz compositions and arrangements, and an acoustic number with McLaughlin and Corea onboard. As usual, the upbeat funk-rock numbers are exceptional with Silly Putty and Hello Jeff ranking with some of Stanley's best. Hello Jeff features an incredible uplifting guitar solo from guess who.

Less successful is acoustic number Song to John (Coltrane). It's not terrible, but sort of unfocused, meandering and bordering on new age jazz during it's first half, and overly busy and flashy in the second half. This thing in the mid 70s where musicians would 'trade licks' can be intense if used sparingly, but unfortunately little these guys did in the mid-70s was done 'sparingly'. Anyway, this number plows onward and sounds nothing like anything ever put out by Coltrane. Finally we get to the ambitious Concerto for Jazz Rock Orchestra, a title lofty enough to attract the attention of the most pretentious of the prog rock set.

This 'Concerto' opens with some nice Satie-like piano figures with string synthesizer before launching into progressive rock like orchestrated assaults, EW&F vocals, space funk and several high energy fusion workouts featuring the blistering guitar work of David Sancious. Taken individually all these sections are great, but it's hard to say if this all adds up to some sort of Concerto, doesn't matter really.

If you like the other two Clarke albums in this trilogy, as well as other progressive rock influenced fusioneers such as RTF, Mahavishnu and David Sancious, you will find a lot to like here.

Review by Flucktrot
3 stars A general tendency of some of Clarke's later albums seems to be that they lack a direction, a mission. Instead of specifying a kind of tone or attitude and finding people who are on board, it often feels more of a "I've got an album due and some material--do you want to play along and see what happens?" vibe.

Fortunately, we're not quite there yet with Journey to Love. I think Clarke was still experimenting and exploring here in ways to expand on his debut album, and I appreciate that. It doesn't always work magically, but there's still some nice energy to most of these tracks.

Silly Putty and Hello Jeff do work well, with the former having more of a funk feel and the latter more of a rock influence. The title track...well, not so much. Musically it's tolerable, but Clarke's falsetto is just not top notch by any stretch of the imagination. It's amazing that these fusion guys were all connected to great musicians but often couldn't find a halfway decent vocalist. The Song to John's are pleasant, but if you follow fusion, you've certainly heard all of this elsewhere.

And then we get to the Concerto for Jazz...I'll stop short of using the term "trainwreck", but disjointed and meandering might apply. Nearly half of the 14 minute run-time is really not necessary in my opinion. The best part is the nice fusion from about 6-10 minutes where the guys are just letting it simmer a while before bringing things to a boil when the horns come in. It's a false ending, however, but the best is behind is unfortunately. I respect the experimentation with the tubular bells and other whistles, but the main theme is relatively generic, and the horns even sound a bit off key in spots. Nice try, but it misses the target.

Overall, I like Journey to Love less than what came before it, but more than what came after it. If you need more Stanley after picking up his first, this would be worthwhile.

Review by Sean Trane
3 stars 3.5 stars really!!!

Third album from this upcoming jazz-bass master, Journey To Love is often embodied in the so-called prog-fusion trilogy, consisting of it and the album sandwiching it chronologically, but it lacks the prestige and exposure of its two companions. It's probably because it's a quieter more introverted albums, more introspective and personal than the all-out funk of School Days, and jazzier than the self-titled album preceding this release. Having found a winning formula with the previous s/t album, Stanley repeats the electric Ladyland & Ken Scott combination and again scores high points, but the adjunction of Jeff Beck, George Duke, Steve Gadd (originally thought for RTF's drum stool) and the then- relatively unknown David Sancious (on guitar rather than keyboards, if you please), on the main body of the album are also scores quite a bit of points as well. Aside from the returning appearances of RTF members Lenny White and Chick Corea, half of the horn section in the s/t album returns as well.

Opening on the horn-laden funky Silly Putty, the album gets in the future School Days and Beck's Wired mood, with an over-virtuosity feel as a bonus, but the track is a killer. The slow-starting title track is the only sung track and features a Beck guitar solo is a stark contrast, especially with Duke's Minimoog and ARP layers. The progheads will pay close attention to the self-explanatory hello Jeff track, one that could easily find its way onto Wired or Blow or the Live albums. Close to the quality of a Freeway Jam.

The two Song To John Coltrane (spread over the two sides of the album) are definitely the jazz heart of the album, but refer more to the 50's part of Trane's career, despite the ECM feel and it is not that strongly reminiscent especially that Chick's piano doesn't resemble at all McCoy's, and McL's guitar doesn't fill his John alter-ego's sax, but it's more of a tribute than a Trane track cover. Obviously the four-movement 14-mins TL suite is the other heart of the album, and the one where the proghead's attentions are instantly fixed upon. It's quite a departure from the rest of the album (except maybe from the title track) with its soft semi-symphonic first movement, but it's to allow a stark contrast with the strong fusion second part, where Sancious' fiery guitar parts answer Duke's synth lines, and Clarke's impetuous and imperial bass rages on over ARP synth layers and soft chanting vocals (un- credited on the CD) and the third part is more of the same but with wild horn arrangements and bells. Impressive stuff. The bells allow a smooth transition to the soft and fading finale

This rather good album suffers from a lack of intelligent track distribution or sequencing, thus making it a bit of a pot-pourri, instead of having at least one strong flipside and a miscellaneous one, but I guess industry workers have a different outlook than the listeners have. I suggest you start with Stan's first two solo albums, not forgetting the COF release so often overlooked, before moving forward chronologically.

Latest members reviews

4 stars One this album, Clarke took the first small step from fusion toward funk being more accessible to other music fan groups. He does it with taste as well his "Who's who" collection of guests like George Duke, who was undergoing transformation into funk already. "Silly putty" has the funky bass an ... (read more)

Report this review (#2497249) | Posted by sgtpepper | Tuesday, January 26, 2021 | Review Permanlink

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