Stanley Clarke: Lopsy Lu


Lopsy Lu



Stanley Clarke (Sony)

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Stanley Clarke (bass), Jan Hammer (keyboards), Tony Williams (drums),

Bill Connors (guitar)


Composed by Stanley Clarke


Recorded: New York, 1974


Rating: 90/100 (learn more)

The musicians on Stanley Clarke were a who's who of the early fusion movement. If basketball could be played with four players, this band would have been the Eastern Conference all-stars. Leader Clarke and guitarist Connors represented the Return to Forever team. Jan Hammer came from the Mahavishnu Orchestra team, and Tony Williams had been player-coach of his own trailblazing unit the Tony Williams Lifetime.

"Lopsy Lu" is a gallivanting number. Shooting guard Williams opens with a quasi-march beat. In rhythm with Williams, center Clarke starts some funky plucking from the top of the fretboard. The two mesh. The beat becomes very similar to that heard on Miles's A Tribute to Jack Johnson. Tony is Billy Cobham and Stanley is Michael Henderson. After a bounce pass from Clarke, point guard Hammer starts shooting jumpers. Nobody has ever played the Moog synthesizer like Jan Hammer. Guitarist and small forward Connors rebounds a Hammer riff and heads up court on a fast break. The team lays the basketball up and in. If they needed a fifth player to make things official, perhaps they could have invited a violinist. But this jazz-rock workout has plenty of scorers.

Reviewer: Walter Kolosky

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