Many of us have come together in thought and in spirit because of George’s passing…..
George Duke’s life is to be celebrated because his life was about achievement, discipline, structure, focus, love and extreme ability. George lived life “STRONG’. He lived the life of 30 musicians. He attacked life as much as life attacked him. George Duke was a true soldier of music and could very possibly be the nicest man I’ve ever met……!
“A walking angel”….. There isn’t a person who can say that once they were in George’s presence they didn’t feel better!
He was a healer and a lover of people. George Duke left a gigantic footprint on the planet. I was very fortunate to know him and share tremendous experiences with this enlightened man.
The thing I’m going to miss most is calling him on the phone and greeting him with “yo Big Daddy”, which many of his close friends affectionately call him.
Stanley’s 1984 recording Time Exposure has just been re-issued with extended versions of several tracks. Funkytown Grooves is reissuing the album through license with Sony Music. The CD can be ordered here.
The GRAMMY Museum will host an evening with Stanley featuring an in-depth discussion moderated by GRAMMY Museum Executive Director Bob Santelli May 9, 8:00pm. Following the interview, Stanley will answer questions from the audience, then plug in and perform a selection of songs.
Doors open at 7:30 pm. American Express presale tickets are $25 and can be purchased online by American Express Card members starting Wednesday, April 10, at noon. Public onsale is Wednesday, April 24, at noon. American Express is the exclusive payment method for presale tickets. American Express ticket purchasers will receive a special gift. All proceeds benefit the GRAMMY Museum.
Time Magazine praised Stanley, Chick Corea and Kenny Garrett, while critiquing the Grammys’ short tribute to jazz piano master Dave Brubeck, in which the trio performed, saying, “Forty-five seconds is not nearly enough time when you have this much talent on stage playing tribute to jazz great Dave Brubeck. While it’s clear that the bulk of the Grammys audience is not jazz fans, less than a minute out of a three-hour show is insulting.” While giving an “F” for the time allotted, the magazine gave an A+ to performance of the trio of Clarke, Corea and Garrett in their review of the entire program.
Stanley was more benevolent in his assessment saying, “I’m happy the Grammy Awards decided to include real jazz as a part of this year’s televised broadcast. It was an honor to be asked to participate. Actually, I can’t remember the last time jazz was featured on the primetime awards show. I’ve always found this odd, since jazz is one of our authentic American musical art forms.”
Stanley is working on a classical bass CD for the Concord/Roxboro label. He’s recently been concentrating on his interpretation of “Bach’s Cello Suite.”
Recording an album that goes back to his classical roots has been a long time dream. Early in his teens in Philadelphia, Stanley had instructors like Elisio Rossy and Neil Courtney who played with the Philadelphia Orchestra. Elisio Rossy was a technically strict, old world teacher, who was tough to the end. Neil Courtney seemed to recognize something special in Stanley and encouraged his creativity beyond the technical aspects.
“My initial music education was very traditional and relatively strict, and it gave me a strong base that let me build. Let’s face it, as a young musician, you may have all of these great ideas, but if you don’t have that expertise from a technical foundation…it just isn’t going to happen,” Stanley says. “I’ve had success and I owe a lot to my classical roots.”
Here’s a couple of great and unique gifts for any Stanley Clarke fan. Stanley created the “Four Strings” artwork now featured on new products for ACME Studios. The design was inspired by Stanley’s favorite electric and acoustic basses.
Stanley’s artwork is a printed on ACME Studio’s high-quality Roller Ball Pens and premium business card holder, both of which can be purchased at DesignMafia.net.
Congratulations to Stanley for winning Best Electric Bassist in Downbeat’s 2012 Reader’s Poll. Stanley thanks all the readers who voted for him and all the nominees in the magazine’s annual poll. Read more about the poll here.
Watch the Clarke/Copeland band live in Paris at Le Bataclan on July 11, 2012, with Ruslan Sirota on keyboards and Brady Cohan on guitar, performing one of Stewart Copeland’s compositions “Birds of Prey”.