Stanley Clarke | SFJAZZ
Easily one of the most innovative, influential bassists and composers in modern music, GRAMMY-winner Stanley Clarke gained fame as founding member of the legendary fusion band Return to Forever with Chick Corea, appearing on all ten of their classic albums beginning with 1972’s self-titled debut. The Philadelphia native was barely past his teenage years when he took New York by storm, quickly finding work with Art Blakey, Horace Silver, Stan Getz, Bill Evans, and Dexter Gordon before embarking on his odyssey with Corea – an enduring collaboration that has continued off and on for four decades. Clarke became ever more visible as virtuoso on both acoustic and electric bass, and his solo releases are textbook examples of instrumental mastery and soulful exploration. His 1976 album School Days became a particularly influential statement of purpose to aspiring bassists. Clarke’s unfailing taste in collaborators resulted in memorable work with George Duke, Béla Fleck and Police drummer Stewart Copeland, and he has had a highly fruitful second career as a film composer, contributing soundtracks for Boyz n the Hood, What’s Love Got to Do With It, Poetic Justice, Higher Learning, and many others. Clarke’s newest Impulse! release, D-Stringz, is a triumphant string-focused session with guitarist Biréli Lagrène and violinist Jean-Luc Ponty, aptly demonstrating Clarke’s evolution as a master musician is still a work in progress.