Legend is a word which is entirely too easy to use when describing famous artists and musicians who have maintained their popularity past their initial success. Witness, however, the sustained artistry, stunning manifold achievement, varied and colorful 30-year recording career of bassist STANLEY CLARKE.
Exploding into the jazz world in 1971, Clarke was then a lanky teenager from the Philadelphia Academy of Music. He arrived in New York City and immediately landed jobs with famous bandleaders such as Horace Silver, Art Blakey, Dexter Gordon, Joe Henderson, Pharaoh Sanders, Gil Evans, Stan Getz, and a budding young pianist-composer named Chick Corea.
Stanley Clarke became the first bassist in history to headline tours, selling out shows worldwide, and to have his albums certified gold. The word "legend" was used to describe Clarke by the time he was 25 years old. By this age, Clarke was already a celebrated pioneer in fusion jazz music. He was also the first bassist in history to double on acoustic and electric bass with equal virtuosity, power, and fire. He had also invented two new instruments: the piccolo bass and the tenor bass.
Clarke has won literally every major award available to a bass player: Grammys, Emmys, every readers' poll out there, all the critics' polls, gold and platinum records, walks of fame - you name it. He was Rolling Stone's very first Jazzman of the Year, and bassist winner of Playboy's Music Award for ten straight years.
His artistry has spanned classical, jazz, R&B, and pop idioms. He has already succeeded in a multitude of diverse careers, any one of which would be satisfactory to anyone else. Yet he still pushes on, as invigorated and as passionate about music as that teenage prodigy from Philadelphia with a dream.