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Live Review: 2019 Detroit Jazz Festival

“Reunion” was the watchword for the 40th annual Detroit Jazz Festival, which welcomed back five of its former artists-in-residence for the occasion. But one unwelcome reunion threatened the fest’s culminating performance on Labor Day, as storm clouds once again gathered prior to Stanley Clarke’s final set—as they had in both 2014 and 2017, when the … Read More “Live Review: 2019 Detroit Jazz Festival”

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Stanley Clarke/Bireli Lagrene/Jean-Luc Ponty: D-Stringz

Not for nothing is the opener on this all-star acoustic summit titled “Stretch.” Composed by guitarist Biréli Lagrène, it’s an exceedingly limber foray into swing and blues, a performance that establishes this session’s high standards with audacious verve. But the tune’s title could also be used to describe the album’s expansive reach, as the focus … Read More “Stanley Clarke/Bireli Lagrene/Jean-Luc Ponty: D-Stringz”

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The Stanley Clarke Band: Up

On UP, bassist Stanley Clarke recruits collaborators from his recent past (and some not so recent) and plays both acoustic upright-his forte during the second half of his career-and the electric bass that helped make him a star. UP opens with the decidedly electric “Pop Virgil,” a funk instrumental that blatantly borrows the guitar figure … Read More “The Stanley Clarke Band: Up”

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