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  1. #1
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    Return to Forever

    I just borrowed the Live at Montreux 2008 DVD from the library. This was their reunion show. It was everything it promised to be. Just an amazing and stellar performance. These guys are drop dead pros, it was as though they picked right back up from where they left off. I was engaged from start to finish. DiMeola shreds harder than ever.

    There is DTS, Dolby 5.1 and Dolby Digital Stereo available. All are excellent. If you like that "in the crowd" vibe the 5.1 was done really well. I listened to them all. The digital stereo through my DAC was most impressive as far as the music goes.


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    3LB
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    cunning linguist 3LB's Avatar
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    wow P-Chubbs, seems you and me have been dipping into the same jazz rock mine. I been listening to a couple of RTF albums I picked up a while back, Romantic Warrior and Where Have I Seen You Before.

    Funny, from all the descriptions I've read about RTF and Weather Report, I figured I woulda leaned more towards Weather Report, but danged if I don't like RTF more. The uber popular Heavey Weather album is anything but, and kinda boring IMO.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3LB
    wow P-Chubbs, seems you and me have been dipping into the same jazz rock mine. I been listening to a couple of RTF albums I picked up a while back, Romantic Warrior and Where Have I Seen You Before.

    Funny, from all the descriptions I've read about RTF and Weather Report, I figured I woulda leaned more towards Weather Report, but danged if I don't like RTF more. The uber popular Heavey Weather album is anything but, and kinda boring IMO.
    Wonderful stuff................Back in the mid-seventies, I was in music school and these were the sounds that everyone was gaga over.
    You have two of the best three albums that these guys released...........NO MYSTERY was released between the two you mention and won Jazz Album of the Year in 1975.
    I have a Japanese Remaster of ROMANTIC WARRIOR that might be my favorite CD of all time............incredible musical technicians............incredible recording too.
    I was fortunate to see them perform three times.............also seen DiMeola twice with his own group.............all amazing nights.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MasterCylinder
    Wonderful stuff................Back in the mid-seventies, I was in music school and these were the sounds that everyone was gaga over.
    You have two of the best three albums that these guys released...........NO MYSTERY was released between the two you mention and won Jazz Album of the Year in 1975.
    I have a Japanese Remaster of ROMANTIC WARRIOR that might be my favorite CD of all time............incredible musical technicians............incredible recording too.
    I was fortunate to see them perform three times.............also seen DiMeola twice with his own group.............all amazing nights.
    No Mystery was the first RTF album I ever heard when it came out and was also my intro to Stanley Clarke. No Mystery remains my favorite with tunes like Dayride and Jungle Waterfall.

    Are any of the tracks on the dvd from NM?

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    From the JAZZ website :

    Tracks and Personnel

    Personnel: Chick Corea: Yamaha Grand Piano Model C3MP, Yamaha Motif XS 8, Rhodes Midi Piano Mark V, Moog Voyager, Prophet 5; Stanley Clarke: acoustic and electric bass; Al Di Meola: acoustic and electric guitar; Lenny White: drums.

    Tracks: Introduction; Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy; Vulcan Worlds; Sorceress; Song to the Pharoah Kings; Al's Solo; No Mystery. Chick's Solo; The Romantic Warrior; El Bayo de Negro (Stanley's Solo); Lineage (Lenny's Solo); The Romantic Warrior (continued).

    DVD Feature: Running Time: 149 minutes (approx). Bonus Features: Tracks from U.S. Tour: Lineage (Lenny's Solo); Al's Solo; Friendship (Chick's Solo); El Bayo de Negro (Stanley's Solo); Duel of the Jester and the Tyrant.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


    And on another note , BTW................the first time I ever went up to North Texas State to see the one-o-clock jazz band rehearsal conducted by the late, great Leon Breeden, he passed out a chart (for a first reading) of Clarke's VULCAN WORLDS............I had been listening to the RTF stuff so at the time, I was very familiar with the music............he counted the tempo and the band kicked it in............read the chart well the first time through..........played it even better...............I was floored.............I knew at that moment that I would likely never be a musician of that caliber...........one of those "aha" moments, for sure !!!

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    Notes on the Top 3

    Romantic Warrior
    (1976 Columbia -- Corea, Clarke, Di Meola, White)

    1. Medieval Overture
    2. Sorceress
    3. The Romantic Warrior
    4. Majestic Dance
    5. The Magician
    6. Duel of the Jester and the Tyrant, Pts. 1 & 2

    Album Notes (CDUniverse.com) -- By the time Return to Forever's Romantic Warrior lineup coalesced, the group was very much a partnership between all four members. By 1976, with increased reliance on Corea's banks of analog synthesizers and Al Dimeola's searing electric guitar, the quartet had arrived at a musical crossroads that was more closely aligned with 'progressive' ensembles of the day like Hands or Happy The Man than with real rockers or jazzmen. This undefined netherworld marked the point of delineation between 'jazz-rock' a la '70s Miles and the less definable 'fusion.'

    The compositions, contributed by all four members, feature death-defying time changes and fleet-fingered riffs that would mark the downfall of lesser men. The facility displayed by Corea, DiMeola, and bassist Stanley Clarke is astounding, as they rip through counterpoint and unison lines, spitting out sixteenth-notes like bubblegum. Drummer Lenny White is a polyrhythmic wonder, making all the bizarre, unconventional shifts sound completely organic. As on his '70s solo albums, DiMeola offers the liquid, rapid-fire solos that would inspire a generation of fusion guitarists, while Corea's nimble lead synthesizer work gives Mahavishnu-era Jan Hammer (obviously an inspiration) a run for his money.

    To hear more from Romantic Warrior, check out the RTF Radio!


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    No Mystery
    (1975 Polydor -- Corea, Clarke, Di Meola, White)

    1. Dayride
    2. Jungle Waterfall
    3. Flight of the Newborn
    4. Sofistifunk
    5. Excerpt from the First Movement of Heavy Metal
    6. No Mystery
    7. Interplay
    8. Celebration Suite, Pt. 1
    9. Celebration Suite, Pt. 2

    Album Notes (CDUniverse.com) -- No Mystery sees Return to Forever experimenting with funk and heavy-hitting rock. "Sofistifunk" is a great example of the former. On this track, drummer Lenny White lays down a fat dance groove. However, to offset this, keyboardist Chick Corea and guitarist Al DiMeola create an abstract musical dialogue between synthesizers and fuzz guitar.

    "Excerpt from the First Movement of Heavy Metal" is the best example of the band's explorative, hard-rocking side. This piece opens and closes with a tongue-in-cheek 'classical' piano introduction. In between, DiMeola, White, and bassist Stanley Clarke engage in an over-the-top, no-holds-barred jam. The title track is the jazziest of all the songs here. This sensitive, Latin-influenced composition contains many beautiful passages as well as a number of sudden melodic deviations. Overall, this piece really shows off Corea's distinctive compositional style, which borrows not only from Cuban music and post-bop jazz, but also from the Spanish guitar tradition. Certainly, DiMeola--who is known for his love of flamenco music--had an influence on this musical direction as well.

    To hear more from No Mystery, check out the RTF Radio!


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Where Have I Known You Before
    (1974 Polydor -- Corea, Clarke, Di Meola, White)

    1. Vulcan Worlds
    2. Where Have I Loved You Before?
    3. The Shadow of Lo
    4. Where Have I Danced With You Before?
    5. Beyond the Seventh Galaxy
    6. Earth Juice
    7. Where Have I Known You Before?
    8. Song to the Pharoah Kings

    Album Notes (CDUniverse.com) -- This classic, cookin' fusion record from the heyday of the genre still sounds exciting today. Keyboardist Chick Corea leads his band on an intergalactic cruise into the void where rock and jazz meet in an explosive big bang. Playing with sci-fi imagery, Corea, bassist Stanley Clarke, drummer Lenny White, and guitarist Al DiMeola know how to trip the light fantastic.

    White's searching "The Shadow of Lo" lets DiMeola riff with velvety guitars around Corea's sunny keys. On the closing space/jazz tug of war "Song to the Pharaoh Kings," Corea's synths pop like subatomic nuclei, while White lays down a frenzied star storm of clashing cymbals and ringing snares, and DiMeola and Clarke's strings wrap themselves around each other with impressive skill.

    To hear more from Where Have I Known You Before, check out the RTF Radio!

  7. #7
    3LB
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    so MC, you really like RTF, huh? just a hunch...

    whaddiya think of Weather Report?
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3LB
    so MC, you really like RTF, huh? just a hunch...

    whaddiya think of Weather Report?

    I don't know WEATHER REPORT like I know RTF.
    I own HEAVY WEATHER and I have always loved that CD.

    Other than that, I know Joe Zaniwul wrote MERCY, MERCY, MERCY for Cannonball Adderly way back in the 60s.............the version from the BUCKINGHAMS was cool.

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    Massive Attack are playing at the Montreux jazz festival this year. The tickets are too expensive and I'm really bummed I can't go...

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    Rocket Surgeon Swish's Avatar
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    Are you insane?

    Quote Originally Posted by 3LB
    The uber popular Heavey Weather album is anything but, and kinda boring IMO.
    Well, of course you are, but you need to post a retraction post haste. Heavy Weather is one of the most finely crafted jazz-fusion records of all time and is considered by many to be the standard by which all others are measured. Along with the hugely famous song Birdland, the other tracks feature great melodies that have withstood the test of time and turned legions of music lovers into jazz fans, including me.

    In fact, the band was unique in their approach to the genre, eschewing the constant soloing favored by others (Return to Forever, Mahavishnu Orchestra), sticking to the melodies while improvising throughout the songs. I actually found the other bands 'kinda boring' because they were showing off their technical abilities while delivering a mediocre song, the same reason I dislike most prog music.

    Swishdaddy

    P.S. I was fortunate enough to see Weather Report, with Jaco, Wayne Shorter, Joe Zawinul, and Peter Erskine, in State College PA back in 1980. It was fantastic.
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    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    Yes Weather Report were a bit stale. Wayne Shorter is a bit of a bump on a log, although a master of his instrument.

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    3LB
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    Save for Birdland, Teen Town and Palladium, I found it to be rather typical, laid-back jazz fare the likes of which bands like Spyro Gyra would make a career of aping later. I prefer Tale Spinnin' to Heavy Weather. That is not to say I don't like HW, its just an album like Tale Spinnin' or an RTF album satifies my fusion jones better. Depends on my mood actually. When I want to relax, those slow tempo mood pieces are great.
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    Rocket Surgeon Swish's Avatar
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    Spyro Gyra? Are you kidding me? They were more...

    Quote Originally Posted by 3LB
    Save for Birdland, Teen Town and Palladium, I found it to be rather typical, laid-back jazz fare the likes of which bands like Spyro Gyra would make a career of aping later. I prefer Tale Spinnin' to Heavy Weather. That is not to say I don't like HW, its just an album like Tale Spinnin' or an RTF album satifies my fusion jones better. Depends on my mood actually. When I want to relax, those slow tempo mood pieces are great.
    ...likely to be Muzak material. How about "A Remark You Made"? Yes, it was laid back, but another great track on this seminal record. I feel sorry for you guys who need the constant solos and instrumental acrobatics. Typical? No freakin' way dude! You're killing me!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swish
    P.S. I was fortunate enough to see Weather Report, with Jaco, Wayne Shorter, Joe Zawinul, and Peter Erskine, in State College PA back in 1980. It was fantastic.
    I have the WR DVD of them live at Montreux, and it's pretty frickin' great. It's loaded from a drummer's perspective, as Alex Acuna (drums) and Manolo Badrena (percussion) are on FIRE, and the drums are loud in the mix. I guess this is Jaco Strappo's second live gig with them, and while he's kinda sloppy on his solo. it's amazing to see him as young as he is.

    I know for a fact that YECH loves this DVD as well, as there's a (very) lingering shot of Zawinul's hands on the keys, and below that is his crotch in all its majesty. Guess they didn't wear underwear in them days

    Review from Amazon: For many of us Weather Report fanatics this is the Holy Grail of WP live videos. If you're like me, you already own a bootleg of this show. I have two, the second being slightly better in quality to the first, with even a hand held audience camera (horrible quality) filling in Dr Honora ex Causa/Directions tune which was missing from the television broadcast from whence the bootleg was born.

    But this is a whole other level of quality. The good folks at Eagle Vision should be commended for taking the original filmed concert and lovingly restoring it to its full length. Even more impressive than the crystal clear video and continuity is the superior sound. We are given no less than three formats to choose from, Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS(!) and PCM stereo. The DTS sounds great on my system, putting this outstanding performance under an aural magnifying glass. One can hear so many details that the first viewing/listening was startling, even though I have viewed the bootleg countless times. The PCM stereo version is also superb-encoded as it is @48k and 16 bit, it surpasses CD specs and sounds it too, considering the 1976 concert quality source. I should note that the balance of the band is a little off at the beginning, but quickly adjusts to a satisfactory mix for most of the show. Overall , the bass is a bit weak and the percussion a little too forward for my tastes, but its close enough to not get in the way of really enjoying the music.

    As for the performance, well, if you don't know why WP was considered such a big deal ,this document should convince you of their importance in modern jazz history. This was before they played the big concert venues and added all the lights and smoke. This is not a show band: this a seriously committed group of players who came to blow the walls off the hall. And blow the walls off they do. Presented with this 'take no prisoners' attitude, even the somewhat restrained Montreux audience is visibly moved to standing applause by the end.

    This is the Heavy Weather band before Heavy Weather. (But listen: Zawinul was messing around with the Birdland lick at the beginning of ex causa-and isn't that the bass riff from River People that jaco's playing in Gibraltar?) The material ranges from early Zawinul (ex Causa) through Black Market. The intensity and focus never wavers for an instant, even in the introspective moments. It's fascinating to watch these younger incarnations of the legends we know today. This younger Zawinul, whose stage persona is not known to be particularly engaging, is postively (dare I say it?) gleeful at times. He even smiles on several occasions. Wayne is ever the enigmatic poet, rarely coming up for air to peer out at the crowd. This was Jaco Pasorius' second live gig with the band, and he seems to be out to prove himself to the Big Boys. There are no shennanigans and no grand standing on this set-Jaco's not playing to the crowd- he's clearly here to make music.

    Another delight of this set is the spirited interplay between percussionist Manolo Badrena and drummer Alex Acuna. They smile,cajole and even playfully taunt one another,constantly upping the excitement on stage. They are a pleasure to watch. Their enthusiasm and good natured comradery adds to the overall good vibe of the performance. This band is having fun.

    I noticed Amazon has lowered the price from the $14 I paid for my copy. Honestly, it would be well worth the price at twice the price. This is a long sought after gem. Don't miss it.

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    3LB
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swish
    ...likely to be Muzak material. How about "A Remark You Made"? Yes, it was laid back, but another great track on this seminal record. I feel sorry for you guys who need the constant solos and instrumental acrobatics. Typical? No freakin' way dude! You're killing me!
    Yes, "A Remark You Made" is a voluptuous track. My problem is that the album is split about 50/50 twix tracks like Birdland and tracks like "Remark". And no, I'm not suggesting WR sound like SG, I'm saying SG aped WR, what with near to exact spin on world beat and latino shadings. SG of course is not in WR's league as they are just a step above muzak. I do think RTF was better at interplay than WR, and compositionally speaking, RTF prolly appeals to me more because of my prog leanings. I like Brand X's first album and the first couple of Dixie Dregs albums better than Heavy Weather as well, but that doesn't mean I think Heavy Weather sucks, its just that when it comes to WR, I'm reaching for one of their earlier albums. So sue me. Yeah WR had the big hit song, but so did Chuck Mangione.

    Geez what a grouch...Stanley Cup hangover or what?




    ok I admit it, that Mangione crackback...j/k
    Last edited by 3LB; 06-03-2010 at 08:18 PM.
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    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by poppachubby
    I just borrowed the Live at Montreux 2008 DVD from the library. This was their reunion show. It was everything it promised to be. Just an amazing and stellar performance. These guys are drop dead pros, it was as though they picked right back up from where they left off. I was engaged from start to finish. DiMeola shreds harder than ever.

    There is DTS, Dolby 5.1 and Dolby Digital Stereo available. All are excellent. If you like that "in the crowd" vibe the 5.1 was done really well. I listened to them all. The digital stereo through my DAC was most impressive as far as the music goes.

    Okay, If you think the DVD was good, you should really see the Blu ray version.

    The 5.1 Dts HD Master audio lossless track is absolutely stunning and totally balanced from top to bottom. When you engage the Dolby PL IIx setting (which matrix's two pseudo-stereo channels for the left and right rear wall), you are so completely immersed in a fluffy but detailed surround field, that you have a "I am there"experience.

    The picture quality in 1080i is almost 3D, with excellent fine detail, exceptionally deep black levels, wide color gamut, and top notch contrast.

    As a jazz keyboardist, Chick Corea skills put me into a total coma.

    I reviewed this disc on Blu ray.com, but I cannot find the review on their site.
    Sir Terrence

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  17. #17
    Rocket Surgeon Swish's Avatar
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    Philistine!

    Quote Originally Posted by poppachubby
    Yes Weather Report were a bit stale. Wayne Shorter is a bit of a bump on a log, although a master of his instrument.
    Why I oughta...
    I call my bathroom Jim instead of John so I can tell people that I go to the Jim first thing every morning.

    If you say the word 'gullible' very slowly it sounds just like oranges.

  18. #18
    Rocket Surgeon Swish's Avatar
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    You're entitled to your opinion...

    Quote Originally Posted by 3LB
    Yes, "A Remark You Made" is a voluptuous track. My problem is that the album is split about 50/50 twix tracks like Birdland and tracks like "Remark". And no, I'm not suggesting WR sound like SG, I'm saying SG aped WR, what with near to exact spin on world beat and latino shadings. SG of course is not in WR's league as they are just a step above muzak. I do think RTF was better at interplay than WR, and compositionally speaking, RTF prolly appeals to me more because of my prog leanings. I like Brand X's first album and the first couple of Dixie Dregs albums better than Heavy Weather as well, but that doesn't mean I think Heavy Weather sucks, its just that when it comes to WR, I'm reaching for one of their earlier albums. So sue me. Yeah WR had the big hit song, but so did Chuck Mangione.

    Geez what a grouch...Stanley Cup hangover or what?




    ok I admit it, that Mangione crackback...j/k
    ...no matter how wrong you are.
    Last edited by Swish; 06-04-2010 at 06:29 AM. Reason: Typo
    I call my bathroom Jim instead of John so I can tell people that I go to the Jim first thing every morning.

    If you say the word 'gullible' very slowly it sounds just like oranges.

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    Bwahahahahahahahaha!

    Quote Originally Posted by Finch Platte
    I know for a fact that YECH loves this DVD as well, as there's a (very) lingering shot of Zawinul's hands on the keys, and below that is his crotch in all its majesty. Guess they didn't wear underwear in them days


    [/I]
    Looks like I need to order this DVD. I wonder if it's available in Blu-Ray?
    I call my bathroom Jim instead of John so I can tell people that I go to the Jim first thing every morning.

    If you say the word 'gullible' very slowly it sounds just like oranges.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Finch Platte

    I know for a fact that YECH loves this DVD as well, [/I]
    Well then, god has spoken and all should run out and get this one

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    This right here:

    No Mystery
    (1975 Polydor -- Corea, Clarke, Di Meola, White)

    1. Dayride
    2. Jungle Waterfall
    3. Flight of the Newborn
    4. Sofistifunk


    was my intro to Funk-Shredding-Classical-Jazz-Fusion as a genre and continues to be my favorite from them. I had to spin it last night after this thread and yep, still killer. This was one of the reasons I picked up the Bass. (but then put it down...lol)

    Funny how MC swears by Romantic Warrior and I prefer No Mystery.

  22. #22
    3LB
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hyfi
    Funny how MC swears by Romantic Warrior
    -------------

    I swear by all my fuckin albums
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  23. #23
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    Obviously Stanley Clarke is a virtuoso. After listening to this DVD I have concluded that I don't care for his tone. I am speaking strictly about his electric, which he used for the majority of the show.

    When he is laid back in the song, or groovin along, his bass sounds phenomenal. Also slap/pop and chords have a great sound. My issue is when he takes a solo or adds an improvised run.

    Style wise, and the reason we all enjoy him so much, is his ability to play for the song and lock down the groove. Of course, he does it with a bit of flair too which gives him a real jam feel, even on the recordings.

    However, he has an uncanny ability to stuff a thousand notes into 4 or 8 bars. His solos really reflect this, and occasionally with a song that has a detailed bridge or opening, he will play note for note with DiMeola.

    It's during these passages that I have an issue. His tone and sound have a really dirty and messy application when he is playing alot notes in fast succession. Essentially it ends up sounding sloppy to my ears. Alot of the notes are indistinguishable, which is pretty much opposite of what I need.

    I have no doubt he is playing everything cleanly, it's his set up which is really unflattering. Anyone else feelin me on this point?

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    Quote Originally Posted by poppachubby
    Obviously Stanley Clarke is a virtuoso. After listening to this DVD I have concluded that I don't care for his tone. I am speaking strictly about his electric, which he used for the majority of the show.

    When he is laid back in the song, or groovin along, his bass sounds phenomenal. Also slap/pop and chords have a great sound. My issue is when he takes a solo or adds an improvised run.

    Style wise, and the reason we all enjoy him so much, is his ability to play for the song and lock down the groove. Of course, he does it with a bit of flair too which gives him a real jam feel, even on the recordings.

    However, he has an uncanny ability to stuff a thousand notes into 4 or 8 bars. His solos really reflect this, and occasionally with a song that has a detailed bridge or opening, he will play note for note with DiMeola.

    It's during these passages that I have an issue. His tone and sound have a really dirty and messy application when he is playing alot notes in fast succession. Essentially it ends up sounding sloppy to my ears. Alot of the notes are indistinguishable, which is pretty much opposite of what I need.

    I have no doubt he is playing everything cleanly, it's his set up which is really unflattering. Anyone else feelin me on this point?
    Watch the video in the first entry of my review of the SMV tour a while back if you have not already.

    Clarke-Miller-Wooten show recap..BadASS Bass

  25. #25
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    Hyfi, I'm just heading out with the kids. I'll watch it when I get back. The SMV you sent me is wonderfully recorded and I would sayn opposite of my issue in this post.

    I'll let you know...

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