Stanley Clarke Trio – Jazz In The Garden

Stanley Clarke Trio
Jazz In The Garden
Heads Up – 2009
Sounds of Timeless Jazz

Bass legend Stanley Clarke’s joyful spirituality was forged in the fertile fires of Return To Forever, Rite of Strings and a variety of great solo and collaborative projects. Lenny White has amassed an impressive resume of sideman work with hundreds of artists including his time with Clarke in Joe Henderson’s band as teens, and later with Corea, Clarke and DiMeola in Return To Forever. Hiromi, a prot�g� of Ahmad Jamal and Chick Corea made her recording debut only six years ago but has proved herself to be extremely knowledgeable and talented enough to jam with the likes of Clarke and White on Clarke’s latest release for Heads Up International titled JAZZ IN THE GARDEN.

This CD is an art form of many dimensions driven by a m�lange of musical styles. The rhythmic genius of Clarke is beautifully complimented by Hiromi and White in an array of classical, jazz, and oriental perspectives. Opening with a stirring piece called “Paradigm Shift” – an original 7 minute oeuvre from Clarke written upon the election of President Barack Obama- the program is a sure remedy for any complacent listener who has become lax in their deep listening skills.

The beauty continues with the traditional Japanese folk song “Sakura Sakura” which is now filled with the percussive heartbeats of White’s drumming and rhythmic swing of Clarke’s bass and Hiromi’s amazing piano riffs. This composition is amazing because the trio has such a profound perception of each other’s intended accompaniments and improvisations even before they complete the phrasings.  

“Take The Coltrane” and “Someday My Prince Will Come” are both no-nonsense offerings played as duets, with the latter’s melody played straight-ahead by Clarke on the bass with Hiromi’s lyrical piano making a beautiful complimentary solo.  JAZZ IN THE GARDEN is Clarke’s first acoustic jazz trio recording and by far one of his most versatile.

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