Stanley Clarke: Rock 'N' Roll Jelly


Rock 'N' Roll Jelly



Modern Man (Epic/Legacy)

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Stanley Clarke (bass), Jeff Beck (guitar),

Carmine Appice (drums)


Composed by Stanley Clarke


Recorded: New York, 1978


Rating: 94/100 (learn more)

Modern Man was an attempt by Stanley Clarke to go R&B pop. The album featured orchestrations and vocals. The one exception was "Rock 'N' Roll Jelly." This was a very good thing. Clarke invited friend Jeff Beck back for an encore power trio performance similar in concept to "Hello Jeff" from Clarke's album Journey to Love. This time drummer Carmen Appice, Beck's band mate in Beck, Bogart and Appice, replaced Lenny White.

Clarke's chugging funky bassline lays down the rocking intent of the "Rock 'N' Roll Jelly" right away. He and Appice get the gears in motion for Beck, who charges out of the gate screaming one of the all-time great fusion guitar riffs. You can tell it is Jeff Beck halfway through the first note! As I wrote about "Hello Jeff," Clarke seemed to have honed in on Beck's unique guitar voice in order to write him the perfect riffs. These jazz-rock sounds would become very much a part of Beck's signature sound. Beck leans a bit to the blues for his solo. The tune slows down a bit for Clarke to explore some various characters on bass. Some impressive solo notes and chord shadings ensue. Riff-master Beck returns with the power of a violent warm front. Run for cover. There is dangerous lightning around.

A year after this recording, Clarke and Beck would go on a world tour solidifying their musical synergy.

Reviewer: Walter Kolosky

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