Few bassists have the technique and tone as Stanley Clarke. For the last 50+ years, Clarke has been melting minds with his unique voice on the bass guitar, keeping things funky while delving into the realms of jazz compositions. From his days in Return To Forever to ambitious work within his own compositions, including the beloved 1976 solo album School Days, few have earned their respect and admiration as honestly as Clarke.

The song “School Days” itself ranks among the most important albums in the jazz fusion genre. Its influence reaches far and wide, blending rigorously composed sections with looser improvisational moments, all the while inspiring a veritable dance party. Any bassist in the live music scene would certainly cite Clarke as one of the best, as anyone who watches him at work can’t help but be amazed. While there are countless versions of the song to share, this one from a 2012 performance with Stewart Copeland is among our favorite. Clarke is in fine form, leading a number of tight and melodic bass solos throughout the performance. Copeland is one of the great jazz drummers, making this truly one of the best fusion rhythm sections imaginable today.

Sit back and enjoy this great jam session between jazz masters. Happy birthday Stanley Clarke!

[Originally published 6/30/17]