Bassist Stanley Clarke Records First Acoustic Jazz Trio Album
Bassist Stanley Clarke, whose four-decade career includes gigs with Return to Forever, Rite of Strings and a variety of other solo and collaborative projects along the way, will release Jazz in the Garden on Heads Up International, a division of Concord Music Group, on May 12. For his first straight-ahead acoustic jazz trio recording, Clarke is collaborating with pianist Hiromi Uehara and drummer Lenny White.
“I had never done an acoustic bass record, ever,” Clarke says. “There’s a long list of people on whose records I’ve played acoustic bass—Art Blakey, Dexter Gordon, Stan Getz, Joe Henderson and many others—but I’d never done an acoustic jazz trio record of my own. So I wanted to record one that would just feature the piano and the acoustic bass in a way that you could really hear the bass.”
Clarke sees Jazz in the Garden a way of reconnecting with a time much earlier in his career before his plunge into electric jazz, when he earned his stripes playing acoustic bass with some of the most enduring names in the annals of jazz. “There are times when you want to revisit the things that really established the foundation in your life,” he says. “I spent many, many years studying acoustic bass, and many years playing in New York after I left Philadelphia in the late ’60s. I played with everyone who was there at the time. It was a long time ago, but all that stuff from that period is what made me who I am. This record is my way of reconnecting with that time and that music.”