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Stanley Clarke - Journey To Love CD (album) cover


Stanley Clarke


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.48 | 51 ratings

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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.

Flucktrot | 3/5 |


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