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Published on August 16th, 2017 | by SlyStoned

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Live Report : The Stanley Clarke Band, Scranton Jazz Festival (08/06/2017)

Throughout his career, Stanley Clarke has collaborated with many artists serving under different genres of music while also creating his own personal material. At this point, the 66-years old bassist now wears a different hat, having organized a trio of outstanding jazz musicians to accompany him for his new group, The Stanley Clarke Band. Clarke is not only the band’s leader but what may be perceived as a father figure to the group as he brings much knowledge and experience to his fellow band mates who are all thirty years of age or younger.

During the show, it is evident that Clarke has returned to his roots as a jazz bassist, playing mostly extended instrumental jazz pieces. The Stanley Clarke Band consists of drummer Mike Mitchell, keyboardist Cameron Graves, and pianist Beka Gochiashvili. Clarke’s preferred instrument of choice during the night is a double bass in which he masters, running his fingers across the strings with ease while precisely plucking and slapping every note. When the band attempts to make their music feel funky, they succeed by incorporating Graves’ use of the keyboard’s vocoder. Clarke only picks up his electric bass once throughout the main performance, playing an upbeat version of Charles Mingus’ “Goodbye Pork Pie Hat”. Clarke also asks trumpet player Nate Birkey and saxophonist Sal Giorgianni from the band Nate Birkey & Friends to join him on stage for an impromptu jam session that quickly energizes the crowd.

Clarke concluded his performance and exited the stage, only to return seconds later equipped with his electric bass for a funk-filled encore. The audience stood, chanted, and danced for the first time as Clarke paid tribute to his late friend and music legend, George Duke. Clarke was overcome with liveliness as he played “Oh Oh” from volume three of the Clarke / Duke Project, as well as his own creative version of George Duke’s “Dukey Stick”. Clarke’s unique bass playing technique and solo performances can almost seduce the crowd into thinking he is playing a six string guitar. As one of the most talented bass players in the world, Stanley Clarke has a rare knack for satisfying various types of ears throughout his show and thrilling all audience members.

Setlist

  • Instrumental Jazz Piece
  • Goodbye Pork Pie Hat
  • Instrumental Jazz Jam

Encore

  • Oh Oh
  • Dukey Stick



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