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Stanley Clarke (c) Guillaume LaurentAn inspired and innovative player, Stanley Clarke sits alongside a select few as one of the most influential bassists in contemporary music. From his early gigs with the likes of Pharoah Sanders, Art Blakey, Gil Evans, and Dexter Gordon to his groundbreaking work with Chick Corea in Return to Forever, to his more recent solo and collaborative projects, Clarke has distinguished himself as a master of straight-ahead jazz, fusion, funk, rock, and RB.

Clarke’s recently released DVD, Night School: An Evening with Stanley Clarke and Friends (Heads Up), documents the third annual Stanley Clark Scholarship Concert, performed at the Musicians Institute in Hollywood in October 2002 and featuring Stevie Wonder, Stewart Copeland, Flea, B#233;la Fleck, and others.

1. Love Supreme – John Coltrane
The playing is so great, but also for me it was the first time in my experience listening to jazz music where jazz and spirituality collided into something that was really magnificent.

2. The Crescent – John Coltrane
There’s a beautiful tune on this album called, “The Wise One” which was the first tune that me and Chick Corea listened to together.We formulated the idea of Return to Forever after this gig we had with Joe Henderson and we were in my apartment listening to that song.

3. Electric Ladyland – Jimi Hendrix
The album reminds me of my youth.It’s just a very, very adventurous record in the rock and roll genre and I thought that Jimi Hendrix was definitely a distinctive, unique musical character.

4. Kind of Blue – Miles Davis
This is probably the best-produced album that Miles Davis ever did.Pretty much anyone can listen to Kind of Blue and get something from it that is beautiful.

5. Weather Report – Weather Report 
This was a good album because I really liked the sound that those guys put together – it was a great time in jazz music.

6. Tenor Madness – Sonny Rollins John Coltrane
It’s so fun to hear these two go at each other – just a great, great record.

7. Night of the Cookers – Freddie Hubbard and Lee Morgan
This is a record similar to Tenor Madness except you’re dealing with two trumpets kind of going after each other.You can feel the youth, still to this day, when you put it on.These guys were probably in their 20s or early 30s and they were just killing.

8. Beethoven: Piano Sonatas – Vladimir Horowitz 
There’s this real simple Beethoven sonata called “Path#233;tique” and I can play the first movement – that’s why I like it!

9. Steel Guitar Jazz – Buddy Edmonds
Because he played pedal steel Buddy Edmonds was thrown into the country thing, but at heart he was an amazing jazz musician.

10. Getz/Gilberto – Stan Getz/Jo

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