Original Album Classics

by: Stanley Clarke

What this import collection does, quite simply, is package Stanley Clarke's arguably best-known and best-selling studio records for Epic/Columbia, beginning with his debut for the label in 1974. The other records here -- all of which have very solid tracks on them but also have some real filler -- are Journey to Love (1975), School Days (1976), Modern Man (1978) and the first Clarke/Duke Project album with George Duke (1981). The decision to leave off the live record, which was a best seller, or even the minor hit "I Wanna Play for You" from 1976, is a curious one, simply because the context remains more fusion than funk/disco. Given the mastering and pressings, these are solid sounding sets -- others in the series include offerings by Mahavishnu Orchestra and Duke Ellington, to name just two -- and the price tag is quite modest as well. Still, unless one is a real fan (who would presumably have these titles already anyway) it is curious as to who on these shores would even consider them. ~ Thom Jurek

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