Stanley Clarke is a living legend. He has compiled a resume that includes an impressive list of gold and platinum records. He is not only popular but widely respected in the jazz world as the bassist par excellence. After three decades of awards and accolades, Clarke still insists that education is his highest calling. Since the late 1990's his annual Stanley Clarke Scholarship has given a boost to numerous young musicians from all parts of the world. The scholarship is marked by an annual concert that continues to draw a lineup of high-profile musicians every year.

The third annual Stanley Clarke Scholarship Concert, recorded at Musicians Institute in Hollywood, CA, in October 2002, is presented by Heads Up International on DVD, scheduled to release Tuesday, March 27, 2007. Guest musicians are Stevie Wonder, Wallace Roney, Bela Fleck, Sheila E., Stewart Copeland (Police), Flea (Red Hot Chilly Peppers), Wayman Tisdale, Marcus Miller and more.

"We had a great chemistry at the Scholarship concert in 2003," says Clarke. "The thing I really liked about that concert - aside from raising the money for the scholarship -  was that all these great people showed up, and just got up onstage and played with no real rehearsal to speak of. They just got up there, and this energy and groove just sort of happened."

The DVD is divided in 3 parts: Full performance of the concert, interviews and bonus features. 

The concert starts with The Floor. On this intro Stanley Clarke plays the acoustic bass supported by his orchestra. While he is masterly performing the slap technique on his upright bass snippets of the upcoming musicians and their highlights are shown in a stroboscopic mode.

In the beginning of Wild Dog Stanley Clarke is introducing his live companion Gerry Brown. Gerry was the first drummer Stanley ever heard and he was deeply impressed by his artistry. Wild Dog was originally recorded for the Clarke/Duke project, Vol. 1 (1981, CBS). This album was a great commercial chart-topping success, while the jazz purists were disappointed that Clarke and George Duke didn't do everything within their musical ability. Jazz fans will be certainly reconciled by Clarke's performance on this concert. Clarke brilliantly showcases his slap bass mastership.

A further high-performance bass masterpiece is Goodbye Pork Pie Hat by Charles Mingus. Stanley Clarke has recorded this tune for his highly-acclaimed album If This Bass Could Only Talk (1988, CBS). A wide set of horns is accompanying Clarke's performance: Glenn Berger (sax), Bob Summers (trumpet), Mike McGuffey (trumpet), Doug Webb (sax) and Reggie Young (trombone). On the original recording Wayne Shorter played the sax.

Also a milestone of jazz is Song To John (dedicated to John Coltrane). Al Di Meola, Jean-Luc Ponty and Stanley Clarke joined together on the legendary album Rite Of Strings (1995, Capitol). Can the musical prowess of such a dream team ever be attainable? Yes. Stanley Clarke works that musical miracle a second time with Bela Fleck on banjo and Karen Briggs on violin. Three music giants show that breathtaking rapidness is a prove for musical genius.

Stewart Copeland (member of the re-united group Police) settles in behind the kit on The Lochs of Dread. This tune was written by Bela Fleck for the album The Telluride Sessions (1989, MCA). Fleck has founded the bluegrass supergroup Strength in Numbers which only released this album. A vibrant folk song with much depth.

The following three compositions Stanley Clarke has written as composer of movie scores: Frequent Flyer from the movie Passenger 57, Anna Mae from the 1993 Tina Turner biopic What's Love Got To Do With It? and the theme from Boyz 'N the Hood. Those who are interested in Stanley Clarke's work as composer of popular movie scores I recommend the album At The Movies (1995, Sony).

Big Jam is an energetic piece of music especially exposing Karen Briggs, the female Paganini, Flea aka Michael Balzary, best known as a member of the Red Hot Chilly Peppers, a monster rock bassist, and Sheila E., one of the hottest percussionists on earth.

Peter Chatman aka John Len Chatman better known as Memphis Slim wrote the Blues standard Every Day I Have The Blues. Who can better sing that song than Stevie Wonder? But Steve is also a jazz wonder of the keys. A pleasant surprise.

School Days is Stanley Clarke's landmark hit (1976, Epic) influencing a whole generation of bassplayers. Stanley bass party is joined by no less than 10 bass players: Flea, Amand Sabal-Lecco, Bunny Brunel, Alex Al, Billy Sheehan, Stewart Hamm, Jimmy Johnson, Wayman Tisdale, Brian Bromberg and finally Marcus Miller. My personal bass player favorite is Marcus Miller who follows on Stanley's path as a genius slap bassist.

This DVD is a piece of gold. It's not only pure entertainement in the best sense but also a music monument. Thanks to Stanley Clarke to videotape this music event giving us the opportunity to be witness of such a musical highlight.




  • Bio
  • Stanley Clarke's website


  • CD available on
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    Title Tracks
    1. The Floor
    2. Wild Dog
    3. Goodbye Porkpie Hat
    4. Song To John
    5. The Lochs Of Dread
    6. Why Wait
    7. Frequent Flyer
    8. Anna Mae :
    9. Theme From Boyz 'n The Hood
    10. Big Jam
    11. Every Day I Have The Blues
    12. Giant Steps
    13. School Days