Photo by Raj Naik
45 years after his debut album as a leader, Stanley Clarke has announced his next release. The Message will feature the bass master alongside his longtime touring band of young innovators – Cameron Graves, Beka Gochiashvili, and Mike Mitchell – as well as several special guests like rapper Doug E. Fresh and trumpeter Mark Isham.
Clarke collaborated with each of the members of his band for the album, which they wrote in an unusual situation. The 2015 terror attacks in Tunisia prevented the group from continuing their tour that year, so they decided to stay in Paris and compose. “We were in this great hotel and the owner was a fan,” Clarke explains. “I said, ‘Can you put these three guys in a room where no one can hear them?’ He found a room and after two days, they wrote compositions that reflected their worldview and included their versatility in many different musical genres. A lot of this stuff I would have never written in a million years.”
He adds that the resulting music creates an album that is “funky, melodic, musical, contemporary, and fresh with a rich multi-genre influence.” Ultimately, The Message is about a singular statement. “Our message is simple. It is a message of love,” Clarke says. “There is nothing really profound about our message. It’s just love. A lot of artists have said it in their own way. This is ours.”
The Message will be released on June 29th on Mack Avenue Records.