1. School Days
2. Quiet Afternoon
3. Dancer, The
4. Desert Song
5. Hot Fun
6. Life Is Just a Game
Performer: Stanley Clarke (Double Bass)
Artist: David Sancious; Steve Gadd; Billy Cobham; George Duke; Milt Holland; John McLaughlin
Engineer: Ken Scott...
Producer: Stanley Clarke; Ken Scott...
Distributor: Sony Music Distribution (
Notes: Personnel includes: Stanley Clarke (vocals, piano, acoustic, electric & piccolo basses, handbells, gong, chimes); Jack Nimitz, Buddy Childers, Lew McCreary, George Bohanon, William Peterson, Stuart Blumberg, Albert Aarons (brass); David Sancious (organ, keyboards, Mini-Moog synthesizer, guitar); George Duke (keyboards); Billy Cobham (Moog synthesizer, drums); Icarus Johnson (acoustic & electric guitars); John McLaughlin (acoustic guitar); Raymond Gomez (guitar) Gerry Brown (drums, handbells); Steve Gadd (drums); Milt Holland (congas, triangle, percussion). Recorded at Electric Lady Studios, New York, New York and A&M Studios, Los Angeles, California in June 1976. Every pro electric-bass player and their mothers wore out the grooves of this record when it first came out, trying to cop Clarke's speedy, thundering, slapped-thumb bass licks. Yet ultimately, it was Clarke's rapidly developing compositional skills that made this album so listenable and so much fun for the rest of us, then and now. The title track not only contributed a killer riff to the bass vocabulary; it is a cunningly organized piece of music with a well-defined structure. Moreover, Clarke follows his calling card with two tunes that are even more memorable -- the sauntering ballad "Quiet Afternoon" and an ebullient, Brazilian percussion-laced number with a good string arrangement and a terrific groove, "The Dancer." Clarke also brings out the standup bass for a soulful acoustic dialogue with John McLaughlin on "Desert Song." Evidently enthused by their leader's material, David Sancious (keyboards) and Raymond Gomez (guitars) deliver some of their best solos on records -- and with George Duke on hand on one cut, you hear some preliminary flickerings of Clarke's ventures into the commercial sphere. But at this point in time, Clarke was triumphantly proving that it was possible to be both good and commercial at the same time. ~ Richard S. Ginell
Philadelphia-born bassist Stanley Clarke got his start playing with straight-up jazzers (Horace Silver, Joe Henderson), but became known as one of the prime movers in the jazz-rock fusion movement of the 1970s. His virtuosic technique on both the electric and the acoustic bass made him a superstar of the instrument. Clarke skillfully blended rock, jazz, and funk, on solo recordings, as a member of fusion supergroup Return To Forever, and in collaborations with keyboardist George Duke and others. Clarke's distinctive slapping technique has influenced numerous technically stunning players, from Bela Fleck accompanist Victor Wooten to Miles Davis cohort Marcus Miller.