New Music: The Message by The Stanley Clarke Band

The Message (available June 29 via Mack Avenue Records) swells with an abundance of strength, soul and astounding musicianship. It’s a vision of fusion and funk, breakbeats and bass-interpreted cello suites with a little help from friends like rapper/beatboxer Doug E. Fresh and trumpeter Mark Isham. Backed by a young versatile band and a collection of tunes written in the midst of a tumultuous tour of Europe,

“I’m very excited about our work on this album. I wanted to include some of my band members’ contributions and the result is an album that is funky, melodic, musical, contemporary and fresh with a rich multi-genre influence,” Clarke commented. “The guys in this band are consummate young musicians with musical spirits that are very old.” The line-up he refers to is pianist Beka Gochiashivili, drummer Mike Mitchell and keyboardist Cameron Graves.

The band entered ICP Studios in Belgium and recorded an abundance of material. Clarke returned to his home in Los Angeles with the tapes and began to tinker. “Once I got the raw material, I fleshed it out. My ability is to orchestrate and arrange. I’m very good with taking anything and turning it into something.”

Much of the material from their Paris adventure is collected on this album but the affair opens with a homegrown homage to several soulful great friends that Clarke has lost in the last few years including George Duke, Al Jarreau, Tom Petty, Leon “Ndugu” Chancler and Prince. Clarke slaps out a funky riff for “And Ya Know We’re Missing You” while renowned beatboxer Doug E. Fresh lays down an intrepid beat. A rare pairing that seems instinctual upon first listen.

The Message is unmistakably a Stanley Clarke record.


Stanley and Bunny Brunel Team Up For ‘Bass Ball’

Bass Ball  is the new album produced by Bunny Brunel and Stanley Clarke; and has been five years in the making. Bass Ball features Bunny and Stanley, as well as Billy Sheehan, Victor Wooten, Steve Bailey, Armand Sabal-Lecco (who also composed “Stand Out” on the album), and more.

The album features many great players from all over the world, particularly from Bunny’s home country of France, including trombonist Alex Perdigon, trumpeter Eric Giausserand, bass players Tony Bonfils, Dominique Bertram, Fifi Chayeb among others.

“Bass Ball” features a Who’s Who of drummers with Dennis Chambers, John Wackerman, Simon Phillips, Steve Ferrone, Johan Franzon, Ike Wiley, Clayton Cameron, and Bryan Cabrera. On Percussion are Chris Moraga and Monette Moreno. Playing keyboards on a few of the tunes is Nick Smith and Larry Dunn (Earth, Wind & Fire).

Bass players are truly the focal point of this album, on which, Stanley plays Alembic basses, piccolo bass, and acoustic bass. Bunny Brunel plays the ESP fretted bass, fretless bass, and piccolo bass.

“I like the fact that Bass Ball  gives people an opportunity to hear some of the best bass players they’ve never heard before”, Stanley said of the production.

Check out more the album here.


New Barbarians Book/CD Released January 2017

Get the behind-the-music story of the New Barbarians, the all-star band founded by the Rolling Stones lead guitarist Ron Wood, which featured Stanley on bass.

The New Barbarians: Outlaws, Gunslingers and Guitars tells the untold story of this legendary band, which also included Stones guitarist Keith Richards, former Faces keyboardist Ian McLagan, Stones confederate and saxophonist Bobby Keys, and drummer Joseph “Zigaboo” Modeliste from the Meters, through never-before-seen photography and in-depth interviews. The book offers an intimate look at the brief history of the band formed in 1979, which built a cult following in record time.

Featuring photos of the band by Bruce Silberman, who accompanied the New Barbarians on their U.S. tour, the book is an essential contribution to rock and roll history. Includes a CD with 10 previously unreleased tracks from the band’s tour.

Check out a review of the book and learn more here.


TIME: Clarke,Corea, Garrett Grammys Tribute to Brubeck “A+”

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.”

Read more: http://entertainment.time.com/2013/02/11/the-best-and-worst-of-the-2013-grammys/slide/chick-corea-stanley-clarke/#ixzz2Kp1W9dgq