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Rocks, Pebbles and Sand

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Album Review

Stanley Clarke, funkmeister and jazz-rock virtuoso, goes headlong into rock and urban contemporary music with a roar and a dual propensity for blazing electric bass slapping and mediocre vocals. Side One of the LP contains the rock, while Side Two concentrates on the funk. Along with Clarke this time is a different band, with Charles Johnson on screaming rock guitar, Steve Bach on keyboards and Simon Phillips on drums, with assorted eclectic guests like former employer Chick Corea, Louis Johnson (then of the Brothers Johnson), and jazzman Victor Feldman. The strongest music, tellingly, is on the instrumental medley "All Hell Broke Loose/Rocks, Pebbles and Sand" near the beginning, where the band sizzles madly and Clarke's riffsmithing is at its ingratiating peak. The most perplexing music is on "The Story of a Man and a Woman," which tries to have it both ways by building an adventurous 11-minute concept piece around...vocals. ~ Richard S. Ginell, Rovi


Born: 30 June 1951 in Philadelphia, PA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

A brilliant player on both acoustic and electric basses, Stanley Clarke has spent much of his career outside of jazz, although he has the ability to play jazz with the very best. He played accordion as a youth, switching to violin and cello before settling on bass. He worked with R&B and rock bands in high school, but after moving to New York he worked with Pharoah Sanders in the early '70s. Other early gigs were with Gil Evans, Mel Lewis, Horace Silver, Stan Getz, Dexter Gordon, and Art Blakey;...
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