Stanley Clarke: Jerusalem
Stanley Clarke (bass)
The Toys Of Men (Heads Up HU CD 3128)
Stanley Clarke (bass),
Rusian Sirota (keyboards), Michael Landau (guitar).
Composed by Rusian Sirota.
Recorded: Topanga, CA, 2007
Rating: 96/100 (learn more)
Welcome back, Stanley Clarke! The antiwar The Toys of Men is the best thing he has put out in years. It reestablishes him as one of the premier bass players and musical minds in the business. There are 13 cuts on the album, 12 of which are very good.
Though Clarke's own composing is compelling on The Toys of Men, "Jerusalem" was written by keyboardist Sirota. Various ambient effects and a far-away disconnected electronic voice usher in this lovely ballad. Clarke plays the lead melody with a patient understanding of space and texture. It is an eloquent display of the emotion his mastery can elicit. Landau and Sirota generously provide the backdrop for Clarke's jaw-dropping virtuosity. In the hands of a lesser musician, this tune would come off as Smooth Jazz. (Pardon me while I gag.) But the complex dexterity and musical knowledge Clarke exposes would make musicians of that genre feel bad about themselves.
Here's hoping the lucrative years Clarke spent writing soundtracks and Smooth Jazz will afford him the luxury of making more music like this.
Reviewer: Walter Kolosky