Bass maven Stanley Clarke, a founding member of Return to Forever who, along with Jaco Pastorius, revolutionized electric bass playing in jazz, funk and R&B, has united with Heads Up International to form a partnership that will explore various audio and video opportunities. Mostly recognized for its roster of smooth-jazz luminaries like Yellowjackets, Mike Stern and Walter Beasley, the Cleveland-based Heads Up, which is a division of Telarc, plans to produce and release Clarke’s albums and videos over the next few years.
Clarke already owns Roxboro Entertainment Group, which handles his publishing (as well as others) and will produce the bass virtuoso’s multiple projects, with the goal of maximizing Roxboro’s potential. The inaugural release, Night School: An Evening with Stanley Clarke and Friends, is due on Mar. 28, 2007 and features footage of performances by Stevie Wonder, Wallace Roney, Bela Fleck, Stewart Copeland and others at the third annual Stanley Clarke Scholarship Concert, intercut with commentary by Clarke on the value of education for aspiring musicians. Clarke’s new, as-yet-untitled CD project will follow Night School in June.