Stanley Clarke equals Marcus Miller, Jaco Pastorius & Charles Mingus
‘Listen to the bass
Stanley on the bass
Stanley Clarke to the bass
1, 2, to the bass.’
‘I look at Stanley Clarke as a sort of predecessor and I wouldn’t exist if I didn’t know about him.’ (Thundercat on Stanley Clarke)
Stanley Clarke is unquestionably legendary. To call him one of the most influential bass players in the world would be somewhat of an understatement. To place him in the ranks of the greats – think: Marcus Miller, Larry Graham, Jaco Pastorius, Les Claypool, Charles Mingus… – is a no brainer.
When Clarke moved to New York in the early ‘70s, he was already playing with the jazz greats. From Pharoah Sanders to Art Blakey, Dexter Gordon via Horace Silver and Stan Getz. As a member of the fusion jazz band Return to Forever – along with Chick Corea – he claimed a prominent place for his electric bass. ‘He proved the bass slap could be a lead weapon, as dynamic as the electric guitar wail.’ (Vice)
Bill Evans, Miles Davis, and Ray Manzarek (The Doors) invited him to play with their respective bands. He declined every request. His songs were sampled by 2Pac, Jay-Z, Mos Def, and DJ Shadow. And he served as a mentor to Kamasi Washington and Thundercat.
We already have a red carpet ready for this true legend.