Why is Stanley Clarke UP?
Stanley Clarke is UP, not because he is a four-time Grammy award winner. Clarke is not UP because he is one of the most celebrated bassist in the world who has composed some of the most legendary sound tracks for film and television. Stanley Clarke is UP because of his new exhilarating project on Mack Avenue Records. Clarke says that UP is on the “upside of the emotional tone scale” of jazz music.
“My aim here was to make a record with my friends. Every single recording session was nothing but fun,” says Clarke. “Surrounding myself with people I enjoy being with made the sessions effortless. Everyone came prepared and ready to play. All were great musicians and they came to the studio to give everything they had.”
This new release features the inclusion of former bandmates pianist/keyboardist Ruslan Sirota and drummer Ronald Bruner, Jr., who toured with him for seven years and were Clarke’s co-Grammy Award winners for the Best Contemporary Jazz Album of 2011. Two of Clarke’s current touring band members, acoustic pianist Beka Gochiashvili and drummer Mike Mitchell, are also represented on the album. Both are quite young, in their teens, and talented way beyond their years.
Among these other friends Clarke invites to shine on UP are: guitarists Joe Walsh, Jimmy Herring and Paul Jackson, Jr.; drummers Stewart Copeland, Gerry Brown and John Robinson; keyboardist Greg Phillinganes; Phil Davis on synthesizer and keyboards; Chick Corea on acoustic piano; saxophonists Kamasi Washington, Doug Webb and Dan Higgins; vocalists Jessica Vautor, Natasha Agrama and Patrice Quinn; trumpeter Gary Grant and trombonist Andy Martin on horns; percussionist Lenny Castro; Nick Mancini on marimba; and the Harlem String Quartet with violinists Ilmar Gavilán and Melissa White, Jaime Amador on viola and cellist Matthew Zalkind