Stanley Clarke

Time Exposure

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    6
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While still deeply into the R&B/funk thing, Clarke's Time Exposure is a cut or two above its immediate neighbors in quality, thanks mostly to some superior tunesmithing on Clarke's part. The title track is the prize of the set and one of the best funk numbers of Clarke's career, an ingratiating fusion of a riff and a tune that won't quit the memory, set to a vigorous groove and hammered out by rock guitarist Jeff Beck. Even the obviously radio-minded ballad "Heaven Sent You" (a number 21 R&B hit) is a better-than-average bit of R&B writing -- and here and elsewhere, Clarke wisely leaves the lead vocals mostly to others. The sheer speed and power of Clarke's electric and piccolo bass work is astonishing throughout the album, and the CD as a whole has a techno sound and edge reflecting a period of time just before analog synthesizers were swept away by digital instruments. Ernie Watts and perennial co-conspirator George Duke make cameo appearances on one track apiece.

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