Stanley Clarke: Song to John (Part 1)
Song to John (Part 1)
Stanley Clarke (acoustic bass)
Journey to Love (Epic EK 36974)
Composed by Stanley Clarke.
Recorded: New York, 1975
Rating: 93/100 (learn more)
In 1975 you couldn't get three bigger fusion stars to play even one tune together on a record than Stanley Clarke, Chick Corea and John McLaughlin. But this trio plays two songs on Clarke's Journey to Love! Clarke dedicated his composition "Song to John (Part 1)" to John Coltrane. He decided he and his fellow performers should go the acoustic route for both this number and the separately presented "Song to John (Part 2)". That made it quite a departure in character from the rest of the album, which was a collection of electric funk and symphonic jazz-rock.
McLaughlin and Corea provide textural backing for Clarke's bowed presentation of the song's beautiful melody. McLaughlin, using a scalloped-fretboard acoustic, is next. He bends his notes to such a degree that unbent notes begin to sound foreign. Corea comps behind him until it is his turn. Corea offers more lush playing as McLaughlin and Clarke gently strum a rhythm. As great as these musicians are – and they are fantastically empathetic here – Clarke's gorgeous composition allows them to be even more so.
Reviewer: Walter Kolosky