Stanley Clarke: The Toys of Men
The Toys Of Men
Stanley Clarke (bass, speech)
The Toys Of Men (Heads Up)
Stanley Clarke (bass, speech),
Rusian Sirota (keyboards, piano), Mads Tolling (violin), Esperanza Spalding (vocals), Jef Lee Johnson (guitar), Ronald Bruner, Jr. (drums), Tomer Shtein (acoustic guitar).
Recorded: The Boat. Los Angeles. 2007
Rating: 91/100 (learn more)
Do you remember Fusion before it was tagged with the “F-word” label? Had that particular branding already occurred before Return To Forever came onto the scene? Clocking in at a little over eleven minutes, “Toys of Men” brings back all of the features that made listeners love (or hate!) the 'Fusion Era' – shifting time signatures, blistering melodic runs (including some unison insanity between Clarke and violinist Mads Tolling), wordless vocals, muscular drumming. And oh yes, it's a multipart suite. That construct seemed to raise the “pretentious flag” back in the day. In this case, Clarke's masterful weave of the composition's theme through each subsection gives a very cohesive feeling. Pretentious? Who cares?!!
Reviewer: Mark Saleski