The Stanley Clarke Band plays the Belly Up Tavern on Sunday, January 24.
I was first exposed to Stanley Clarke from my dad’s [records] when I was about six or seven. One particular album cover had this guy sitting in a room with a big window behind him and light coming in. He was in a meditative state. I wondered what the dude was thinking about. It was Clarke’s Journey to Love release. My dad listened to a lot of jazz and blues stuff and had a lot of albums.
I was exposed again to him in 1991, when I graduated from high school. And that was a much bigger influence for me. Boyz N the Hood came out, and it had Clarke’s song “Black on Black Crime.” It was used in one of the most climactic scenes in the film. Ice Cube was getting revenge on the guy that killed his half-brother.
The thing about that song, at that point in the movie…it just fit the scene so well because of how it was composed; the hopelessness of the situation, the darkness and contemplative facts around what was going on with the guys in that neighborhood. It’s probably the first time people of that generation were exposed to Stanley Clarke. And it got me going back and listening to some of his other stuff. I saw how serious a composer he really was.
He did some other movie scores — Higher Learning and a few TV shows. But the songs and score he did for Boyz N the Hood was perfect.
Station: Smooth Jazz 98.1/KIFM
Shift: Friday, midnight–2:00 a.m.