When a trio such as Stanley Clarke on bass, Lenny White on drums, and Hiromi Uehara on piano combine their talents on the all acoustic release The Stanley Clarke Trio with Hiromi & Lenny White - Jazz In The Garden, it should come as no surprise that the result is tight, rich in melodies, and filled with layers of sounds and style.
The Stanley Clarke Trio - Jazz In The Garden
Jazz In The Garden: Paradigm Shift (Election Day 2008); Sakura Sakura; Sicilian Blue; Take The Coltrane; Wrong Notes; Someday My Prince Will Come; Isotope; Bass Fold Song No 5 & 6; Global Tweak; Solar; Brain Training; Under The Bridge
Personnel: Stanley Clarke: Acoustic Bass; Hiromi Uehara: Piano; Lenny White: Drums
The Stanley Clarke Trio with Hiromi & Lenny White - Jazz In The Garden was released on the Heads Up label a division of Concord Music Group. Jazz In The Garden has Stanley Clarke unplugging his legendary electric bass on this all acoustic release where he is accompanied by the renowned drummer Lenny White and the amazingly talented pianist Hiromi Uehara. Music has a way of crossing all boundaries including age, culture, and style, and never more so on Jazz In The Garden. The mix of American and Japanese culture with 30 years of age differences only shows that if you have it, nothing else matters but the music.
Hiromi's musicianship shows no intimidation of playing with two of the greats of Jazz and fusion; in fact she holds her own and at times not only controls the pace, but she pushes it in new directions.
The opening release Paradigm Shift (Election Day 2008), written by Stanley Clarke, contains an interpretive as well as musical paradigm shift. The interpretive view is tied to the opening frantic pace that Stanley lays down, which could be interpreted as the hustle and bustle of people's desire to be a part of the historical 2008 election day. Musically the track moves from the opening tempo then does a complete shift to a more subtle rhythm that is carried by Hiromi's solo and paced by Lenny's drums.
Swinging the cultural divide, the second track is the traditional Japanese folk song Sakura Sakura that leads with a melodic line from Stanley that carries over to Lenny's cymbals, and both harmonize with Hiromi's straight forward and stylish keyboard work to create a jazzy feeling. The track Sicilian Blue, written by Hiromi Uehara, opens with Stanley's delicate string work layered over Hiromi's soft piano notes, that combined with Lenny's percussions creates a bossa nova-type beat.
The track Take The Coltrane pays homage to the great Duke Ellington, the song provides the space needed for the trio to stretch their legs and let their instruments blend in a swinging rendition that would have Duke standing up and clapping in time. Track 3, Wrong Notes, written by Stanley Clarke, allows Hiromi to drive through the song while setting the pace that the other two have to follow; the resultant sound is classic bebop.
The Disney classic Someday My Prince Will Come comes to life through the lyrical feeling created from Hiromi's piano over the melody created by Stanley's bass; refreshing and poignant at the same time, the trio reaches new heights. The cover of Isotope shows that the trio still has some space that they have not explored as they venture to the extreme ranges of their instruments to create a fast-paced sound with depth.
Stanley contributes the bass oriented track Bass Folk Song No. 5&6 that shows why a bass in the hands of Stanley Clarke is an instrument of joy and bravado, while at the same time he demonstrates a unique combination of touch, finesse, and feeling.
The song Global Tweak (Improvised Duet), written by Stanley Clarke and Hiromi Uehara, depicts what happens when two maestros listen and improvise on the fly, and the result is true genius. The track Solar, written by Stanley Clarke, features the fine percussion work of Lenny White that creates the focus and texture of this song, with the piano providing the complementary background.
Showing her desire to liven up the release is Hiromi's track Brain Training that is a little bit bebop, a bit swing, and a whole lot of energy that expands as the track unfolds thus allowing each member to tip their hat to the other as they pass around solos. The track closes with the cover of the Red Hot Chili Pepper's song Under The Bridge, and though there are no lyrics sung, the tone that is set by the bass and piano renders the feeling of a lyricist present.
The only question that arises after you listen to The Stanley Clarke Trio - Jazz In The Garden is "when is the next release scheduled?"
Websites where you can procure The Stanley Clarke Trio - Jazz In The Garden are Amazon, Concord Music, CD Universe, Acoustic Sounds, Music Direct, iTunes, and Tower.
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