Stanley Clarke: Night School-Musicians Institute Hollywood, CA. 2002 DVD 2007 16:9 DTS 5.1

 Bass virtuoso Stanley Clarke, the performer, composer, bandleader who rose to prominence in the 1970s and single-handedly brought the electric bass to the forefront of jazz, R&B, funk and beyond, presents the 90-minute DVD Night School, which chronicles the third annual Stanley Clarke Scholarship Concert, recorded at Musicians Institute in Hollywood, CA, in October 2002.

 With guest performances by Stevie Wonder, Wallace Roney, Bela Fleck, Sheila E., Stewart Copeland, Flea, Wayman Tisdale, Marcus Miller and more, Night School captures performances that range from straight-ahead jazz to full-tilt rock fusion to twenty-two-piece string arrangements - all on one stage, all in a single night! 

Ask serious fusion enthusiasts who jazz' most prolific electric bassists of the '70s were, and Stanley Clarke is a name that immediately comes up along with Miroslav Vitous and the late Jaco Pastorius (Clarke also has impressive acoustic bass credentials). But those same enthusiasts will also lament the fact that after the '70s, Clarke didn't play nearly enough jazz. Thankfully, there is no shortage of jazz (most of it fusion) on the DVD Night School, which focuses on an October 24, 2002 concert at the Musician's Institute in Hollywood, CA. Clarke (who is heard on both electric and acoustic bass) is joined by a long list of major names, who include Patrice Rushen (keyboards), Sheila Escovedo, aka Sheila E. (percussion), Lenny White (drums), B la Fleck (banjo) and former Police drummer Stewart Copeland.

There are many inspired moments during the show, including Karen Briggs' expressive violin playing on the Coltrane-minded "Song to John" and Stevie Wonder's appearance on Memphis Slim's "Every Day I Have the Blues" (the DVD's only vocal offering). Wonder, of course, is primarily an R&B singer, but darned if he doesn't use the electric keyboards to deliver a no-nonsense jazz solo on Coltrane's "Giant Steps" (which, despite its sunny, good-natured, easy-to-hum melody, has notoriously difficult chord changes). But the main attraction is obviously Clarke himself, who shines on everything from Charles Mingus' "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat" to Clarke's signature piece "School Days" (an electric bass summit that boasts 11 bassists altogether, including Marcus Miller, Brian Bromberg, Billy Sheehan of Mr. Big fame and Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers). Night School, despite the inclusion of the abovementioned Coltrane and Mingus classics, doesn't cater to jazz purists, but for those who recognize fusion as a legitimate part of jazz, this DVD has a lot to savor. ~ Alex Henderson, Rovi 


Stanley Clarke
Night School
Jazz, Music Video & Concerts
Jazz, Music Video (Concert / Performance)
27 March 2007
Not Rated


27 March 2007
27 Mar 2007
1: USA, Canada
Dolby Digital 5.1, PCM Stereo, English
Discs:1 ~ Format:Ntsc ~ Region:1
Clarke,Stanley Clr Dvd-Standard


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