Stanley Clarke: Stories to Tell


Stories to Tell


Stanley Clarke (bass, synthesizer)


If This Bass Could Only Talk (Sony)

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Stanley Clarke (bass, synthesizer), Allan Holdsworth (guitar), Stewart Copeland (drums).

Composed by Stanley Clarke


Recorded: Los Angeles, 1988


Rating: 91/100 (learn more)

For "Stories to Tell," Stanley Clarke once again set himself up in a power trio format. This time the guitarist is Allan Holdsworth and the drummer is Stewart Copeland from the rock band The Police.

Despite the lineup, "Stories to Tell" is anything but a power fusion ballad or anthem. In a nod to Copeland's Police, the rhythm is lifted right out of that band's greatest hits book. Clarke plays a pizzicato introduction. For the first minute or so you keep expecting Sting to raise his famous voice in song. But he is not present. Instead, Clarke displays a stunning and beautiful virtuosity as he leads the song on a slow trek. The melody is absolutely gorgeous. Holdsworth also shows great patience and appreciation for harmony as he takes, what is for him, a very deliberate and somewhat touching solo. His guitar sounds nothing like a normal guitar. Yet its squealing somehow comes across as soothing. The Police-like shuffle returns as Clarke and Holdsworth do a bit of trading-off to culminate the tune.

The electric bass can be a very expressive instrument. Very few players know how to milk every possibility from it as Clarke does. He has a story to tell and a seemingly unlimited vocabulary at his disposal to tell it.

Reviewer: Walter Kolosky

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