Stanley Clarke has been a bass legend, in jazz and several other genres, for nearly four decades. At 63, he’s happy to be more active than ever-as a recording artist, bandleader, composer for film and television, music educator and more.
He earned a 2015 Grammy nomination in the Best Instrumental Composition category, for a track off his latest album, Up (Mack Avenue), a project that features such diverse Clarke pals as longtime musical partner Chick Corea, Eagles guitarist Joe Walsh and former Police drummer Stewart Copeland, whose perky temperament inspired the album’s title. Up‘s dozen songs range from three deeply felt solo acoustic bass pieces to the jigsaw-puzzle-like “Last Train to Sanity” (the Grammy nom). It also includes a smooth-jazz-styled version of “Brazilian Love Affair,” written by the late George Duke, with whom Clarke formed the R&B-oriented Clarke/Duke Project in the 1980s.