Rocks, Pebbles and Sand

by: Stanley Clarke

Stanley Clarke, funkmeister and jazz-rock virtuoso, goes headlong into rock and urban contemporary music with a roar and a dual propensity for blazing electric bass slapping and mediocre vocals. Side One of the LP contains the rock, while Side Two concentrates on the funk. Along with Clarke this time is a different band, with Charles Johnson on screaming rock guitar, Steve Bach on keyboards and Simon Phillips on drums, with assorted eclectic guests like former employer Chick Corea, Louis Johnson (then of the Brothers Johnson), and jazzman Victor Feldman. The strongest music, tellingly, is on the instrumental medley "All Hell Broke Loose/Rocks, Pebbles and Sand" near the beginning, where the band sizzles madly and Clarke's riffsmithing is at its ingratiating peak. The most perplexing music is on "The Story of a Man and a Woman," which tries to have it both ways by building an adventurous 11-minute concept piece around...vocals. ~ Richard S. Ginell

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