Stanley Clarke, The Stanley Clarke Band [Heads Up]

Stanley Clarke, still a superhero to bass-playing mortals, put his cape back on for his recent jawdropping performances with the reunited Return To Forever.
By Philip Booth ,

Stanley Clarke, still a superhero to bass-playing mortals, put his cape back on for his recent jawdropping performances with the reunited Return To Forever. Here, he wears it once again, simultaneously reclaiming his status as the jazz 4-stringer to beat and revisiting the slamming ’70s fusion that launched his career. Clarke name-checks and soundchecks that era with the quick-twisting “Larry Has Traveled 11 Miles and Waited a Lifetime for the Return of Vishnu’s Report” and the airy, high-flying title track from RTF’s No Mystery album, injected with a reggae groove. Both are showcases for his impossibly fluid, bright, and clean electric work. Blistering funk, enhanced by righteous slapping and popping on “I Wanna Play for You Too”? Check. Stunning sequels, with two more “Bass Folk Song” numbers? Check. Nod to a jazz great, using a bass once owned by Charlie Mingus, on the calypso-tinged “Sonny Rollins”? Check. Cape secured? Check.