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Duos at Vancouver International Jazz Festival

Stanley Clarke

How much bottom can you handle? Anyone starved for low-end dynamics would have felt like they had made it to heaven at Stanley Clarke’s Scholarship Fund benefit concert. The benefit was for the students at the Musicians Institute in Hollywood, where the concert was held. A high-point of the show featured ten different bassists playing with Clarke for a take-no-prisoners version of his ever-popular fusion hit “School Days.” Bunny Brunel, Brian Bromberg, Stuart Hamm, Billy Sheehan, Armand Sabal Leco, Wayman Tisdale, Flea, Jimmy Johnson, Alex Howell, and Marcus Miller were the accompanying players with Ndugu Chandler and Stewart Copeland on drums and Nick Smith playing keyboards.

Basically the mega-jam was a show of friendly one-upsmanship. Since it was the former Return to Forever bassist’s show, he was the clear-cut winner. Just the same, noteworthy moments came from Sheehan (being the aggressive, off-the-wall rocker he is), Johnson, who played succulently sweet lines, and a melodic Tisdale. Bromberg, by way of effects, sounded like a lead guitarist. And Miller drew strong audience reactions from his interactions with Clarke.

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