Bass virtuoso Stanley Clarke is a living legend. Known for his musicality, dexterity, and ferocity on the acoustic and electric bass, Clarke was the first jazz fusion bassist to headline tours, selling out performances around the world.
A packed and enthusiastic hall welcomed Stanley Clarke N 4ever, rated one of the top two bassists in the world since his time in Return to Forever with Chick Corea, and George Duke, showman and keyboardist supreme and in the recent past a popular singer as well. Clarke’s control at the highest registers of the bass is unequalled, and the degree of expression he forces from the instrument is even more amazing …
“It was the only concert with Stanley that took place in Georgia without Tamaz Kurashvili, so I dedicate the whole concert to him, every note and every phrase.” – Beka Gochiashvili․ Legendary Stanley Clark and Beka Gochiashvili performed together for the fourth time in front of Georgian listeners and never left us without surprises, and yesterday was no exception when Gia Kancheli’s song “Herio Boys” was brilliantly performed in the duet Gochiashvili-Clark.
If you appreciate extraordinary musicianship and have an open mind, you need to see bassist Stanley Clarke. So, it was over 20 years ago when I discovered Stanley Clarke. Return to forever was one of my favorite bands, and Stanley was a big reason why.
When asked about the future of jazz, Clarke explained his perspective, stating that “Jazz will do just fine. Up or down, I think there will always be instrumentalists with the desire to improvise, and the jazz language is the best language to improvise from.”
Asked about his selections of band members Clarke said. “I like Beka Gochiashvili. He is a tremendous talent from the country of Georgia. He has great solo piano skills much like Keith Jarrett… Yes, jazz will do just fine.
While Stanley’s compositions, and his selection of songs, are at times very structured and precise, improvisation is clearly at the center of his live performances. There were moments during his improvisations when every musician on stage seemed completely transfixed by Clarke, as if they were soaking up a music lesson and absorbing inspiration from a master.
For those not so familiar with Clarke and his music, who just went because they love open mind and appreciate great musicianship, the show was obviously a big hit, judging from the crowd reaction. No one sounds like Stanley Clarke on the bass, and it seemed like everyone in the venue got taken on journeys with the jams. Dazzling improvisational solos from the young guns kept things moving in unexpected ways, while Clarke sat listening intently and smiling at the future of jazz.
His creativity has been recognized and rewarded in every way imaginable. In 2022, Clarke was named a Jazz Master by the National Endowment for the Arts, and in 2011 he received the highly prestigious Miles Davis Award at the Montreal International Jazz Festival in recognition of his body of work. He has won three Grammy Awards: one with the seminal fusion group Return to Forever, which he cofounded with Chick Corea and Lenny White; one with the Stanley Clarke Band; and one in a trio with Corea and White for the 2011 record Forever.
Stanley is pleased to be back on the road with a new and exciting group of players in his new band 4EVER. 4EVER’s band members bring dynamic youthful energy and freshness to the music. All extraordinarily consummate musicians and performers, the 4EVER band includes Jeremiah Collier on drums, Beka Gachiashvili on piano and keyboards, Colin Cook on guitar, Emilio Modeste on saxophone and, of course, Stanley on acoustic and electric bass. They excel in creating an electrifying performance, always pushing the boundaries of their instruments.
Drummer Jeremiah Collier is from Chicago’s Southside. 22-year-old Collier is a fierce drummer with a wide understanding of music genres. He combines technique with enthusiastic physical energy. Jeremiah has been performing with Clarke for several years and performed with him in concert when Clarke won the National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master honor in Spring 2022.
Tenor saxophonist Emilio Modeste is a gifted young musician from Williamsburg, Virginia. With his lyrical style, he is one of the greatest young jazz sax soloists in the country today. Modeste began playing sax at the age of eight and has performed and studied with world-renowned musicians. He was also a member of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra on tour and has traveled the world. Clarke considers Modeste to be in the Wayne Shorter school of playing. He is also a talented composer.
Guitarist Colin Cook is a remarkable musician originally from McLean, VA, with a new, fresh and exhilarating approach to jazz. He studied at USC’s Thorton School of Music and since has become a sought-after artist, performing his with his searing guitar style in a number of bands.