Saturday, April 20, 2019

Stanley Clarke @ l'Auditorium de la Seine Musicale, Boulogne-Billancourt - April 20th, 2019

Nearly three years after his last Paris date, Stanley Clarke is back in a slightly different format. The nucleus of the band is still roughly the same: Stanley on bass, Beka Gochiaschvili on piano, Cameron Graves on keyboards and new drummer "Forever Young" Shariq Tucker. The new elements are Evan Garr on violin and Salar Nader on tablas. The reason they've re-shaped the membership was to accommodate tonight's venue: a new concert hall geared toward classical music and acoustic jazz.

If you're a fan of jazz-rock fusion, electric bass guitar and if you came to hear School Days then this was not the event for you. But if you want to hear an exquisite blend of American, European, African and Middle-Eastern music, then la Seine Musicale was the place to be.

Obviously, the musicianship level was extremely high but even at its most virtuosic the playing never upstaged the compositions. Oh, the guys did cook, alright. In fact their dexterity was jaw-dropping. But they never lost sight of the groove and the melody. It wasn't about instrumental acrobatics: it was about interplay. One player would posit an idea, then another one would run with it, then another one would take it home... No one would try to outshine anyone else, not even the star whose name is on the marquee.

That's because this isn't sports. It's not a competition. It's not entertainment, it's not theater. It's music, in its purest form. While addressing the crowd, Stanley Clarke said we were exactly the kind of audience he likes: a mix of science and soul. I can't think of a better description to qualify the music that poured out of that stage last night.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Feel free to comment on this post: