BGOCD924 Rocks, Pebbles And Sand
Produced by Stanley Clarke
Released on 1980
US CHART POSITION #95 . . . US JAZZ CHART POSITION #5
Find it at GEMM
BGOCD924 cover
[high resolution scan]

K ronomyth 7.0: GEOLOGICAL POSITIVISM. This is exactly what you’d expect from an album that scored on the rock, jazz and R&B charts: a tasty mix of fusion, funk, rock and pop. Clarke has a steady backing band on this one, with Charles Johnson on guitar, Steve Bach on the keys and the omnipresent Simon Phillips on the kit. Clarke comes out singing on the opening “Danger Street,” which sounds like one of John Lennon’s rockers spiked with a little Frank Zappa, then dives into a couple of instrumentals before re-emerging with Chick Corea in tow for the spaced-out, funked-up “Underestimation.” (You know, it occurs to me that the whole “funked” in place of the other F word schtick is super cansado, so from here on I’ll be using the word “smurf” instead.) Marcy Levy, late of Clapton’s employ, sticks around for the soulful “You/Me Together,” as close as the album has to a ready-made single and a credible enough foray into R&B chart territory to nearly justify the discorrhea on his next album. The pedestrian funk of “We Supply” features an ad hoc band including Louis Johnson, Greg Phillinganes and Jerry Hey, all of whom had appeared earlier on MJ’s Off The Wall; suffice to say the song’s biggest supplies is that it nearly cracked the R&B Top 40 (that must have been one slow smurfin’ week). Clarke throws listeners a curveball at the end: a three-part suite that sets out in all directions. Of the admittedly few Stanley Clarke albums I’ve heard, Rocks, Pebbles and Sand is the best of them, although I was expecting more ear-popping basswork than I encountered. Clarke is a good songwriter and a decent enough singer I suppose, but his approach of offering a little something for everyone isn’t likely to fully delight anyone. Compared to his next album, however, this is the Ninth smurfin’ Symphony.

TRACK LISTING

  1. DANGER STREET
  2. ALL HELL BROKE LOOSE
  3. ROCKS, PEBBLES AND SAND
  4. UNDERESTIMATION
  5. YOU/ME TOGETHER
  6. WE SUPPLY    (Stanley Clarke/Louis Johnson)
  7. THE STORY OF A MAN AND A WOMAN
      Part 1: She Thought I Was Stanley Clarke
      Part 2: A Fool Again   (Stanley Clarke/Monica Francine Pege)
      Part 3: I Nearly Went Crazy (Until I Realized What Had Occurred)

    All titles by Stanley Clarke unless noted

CREDITS

STANLEY CLARKE -- various electric bass guitars, vocals, background vocals, strings and horns
STEVE BACH -- keyboards
CHARLES JOHNSON -- various guitars
SIMON PHILLIPS -- drums and percussion
George Bohanon -- trombone (5,7)
Mari Botnick -- violin (5,7)
Denyse Buffum -- viola (5,7)
Thomas Buffum -- violin (5,7)
David Campbell -- strings and horns
Ronald Cooper -- cello (5,7)
Chick Corea -- Moog 55, Moog 15, OB-X, Fender Rhodes (4,7)
Rollice Dale -- cello (5,7)
Vincent DeRosa -- French horn (5,7)
Bobby DuBow -- violin (5,7)
David Duke -- French horn (5,7)
Victor Feldman -- vibraphone (7)
Jerry Hey -- trumpet
Josie James -- vocals (6)
Louis Johnson -- electric bass, guitar, vocals (6)
Valerie Johnson -- vocals (6)
Rory Kaplan -- Chick Corea's synthesizer programming
Marcy Levy -- vocals, background vocal
Dennis Mackay -- introduction (6), sound production
Lew McCreary -- trombone (5,7)
Niles Oliver -- cello (5,7)
Sid Page -- violin (5,7)
Greg Phillinganes -- keyboards (6)
Bill Reichenbach -- horns (6)
John Robinson -- drums (6)
Sheldon Sanov -- violin (5,7)
Frederick Seykora -- cello (5,7)
Carol Shive -- violin (5,7)
Lya Stern -- violin (5,7)
Ronald Strauss -- viola (5,7)
John Thomas -- trumpet (5,7)
Charles Veal -- violin (5,7)
Helaine Wittenberg -- viola (5,7)
John Wittenberg -- violin (5,7)
Kathe Hoffman -- album coordination
Nancy Donald -- original design
Robert Giusti -- illustration
Henry Diltz -- photography
CLE Print -- reprographics

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
US 1980 Epic LP JE-36506  
UK 1980 Epic LP EPC-84342  
JPN 1980 Epic LP 25.3P-216  
UK July 27, 2010 BGO Records CDX BGOCD924 digital remaster repackaged
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