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Stanley Clarke

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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Stanley Clarke If This Bass Could Only Talk album cover
2.32 | 21 ratings | 2 reviews | 10% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1988

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. If This Bass Could Only Talk (2:30)
2. Goodbye Pork Pie Hat ( 6:24)
3. I Want to Play for Ya (3:22)
4. Stories to Tell ( 3:46)
5. Funny How Time Flies (When You're Having Fun) (6:07)
6. Workin' Man ( 6:27)
7. Tradition (7:11)
8. Come Take My Hand (4:08)
9. Bassically Taps (3:15)

Total Time 43:10

Line-up / Musicians

- Stanley Clarke / basses, synth (4,8), guitar (8), arranger & producer

- Allan Holdsworth / guitar (4)
- Eddie Arkin / synthesizer (2)
- Byron Miller / synth bass & arrangements (5)
- Vance Taylor / piano (5)
- Steve Hunt / synthesizer (6,7)
- George Duke / piano (8)
- Wayne Shorter / soprano sax (2)
- Freddie Hubbard / trumpet (5)
- George Howard / soprano sax (8)
- James Earl / bass (6,7)
- Gerry Brown / drums (2,6,7)
- John Robinson / drums (3,8)
- Stewart Copeland / drums (4)
- Leon Chancler / drums (5)
- Paulinho Da Costa / percussion (5)
- Gregory Hines / tap dancing (1,9)

Releases information

Artwork: Chris Cuffaro (photo)

LP Portrait ‎- R 40923 (1988, US)

CD Portrait ‎- RK 40923 (1988, US)

Thanks to Stooge for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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STANLEY CLARKE If This Bass Could Only Talk ratings distribution

(21 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(10%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(19%)
Good, but non-essential (33%)
Collectors/fans only (29%)
Poor. Only for completionists (10%)

STANLEY CLARKE If This Bass Could Only Talk reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by clarke2001
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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.

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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.

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