Stanley Clarke: The Toys of Men


The Toys Of Men


Stanley Clarke (bass, speech)


The Toys Of Men (Heads Up)

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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

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  • 1 Pico // Dec 14, 2007 at 04:55 AM
    A bang-on description of Stanley's "I'm back with a vengence" song. I don't care if it's pretentious, either. Pretentious >>> light commercial fluff anyday.