Sunday, October 26, 2008

CD of the Day - "Stanley Clarke: Children of Forever"

CD of the Day
Stanley Clarke: "Children of Forever" (Polydor) 1973/2008

Clarke's debut solo album was recorded on December 26 & 27, 1972 and produced by Chick Corea, who played on all five tracks, arranged four of them and wrote the epic "Sea Journey". Chick plays mostly Fender Rhodes and Hohner Clavinet, except on "Butterfly Dreams", on which he turns to the acoustic piano. Curiously, Stanley Clarke, then a 21-year young phenomenon from Philadelphia, performs all songs on the acoustic piano, adding electric bass only on "Bass Folk Song," which he had recorded one month earlier for Joe Farrell's "Moon Germs" LP (CTI) with Herbie Hancock on Rhodes and Jack DeJohnette on drums.
Except for the mellow pop-ish title track, it's a very consistent effort originally issued by Polydor, the same label for which Chick Corea's Return To Forever group had been signed at that time.
Now reissued on Verve's "Originals" series, on digipak format, the album features Art Webb (flute), Pat Martino (electric guitar and 12-string acoustic guitar), Lenny White (drums) plus the magnificent voices of Andy Bey and Dee Dee Bridgewater.
Then a 22-year old promising singer, married to trumpeter Cecil Bridgewater and working as a vocalist on the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra on the famous Monday night gigs at NY's Village Vanguard, Dee Dee shines specially on "Unexpected Days."
"Butterfly Dreams" would later become one of Clarke's better known songs, after being selected as the title track of Flora Purim's debut LP for Milestone, recorded in December 1973. Flora herself added the lyrics.
On "Children of Forever," however, all tracks are by Scientology's main poet, Neville Potter, famous for his partnership with Corea on such fusion anthems as "500 Miles High," "Sometime Ago," "Time's Lie" and "Open Your Eyes You Can Fly."

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