Why Stanley Clarke is The Greatest Bassist Ever

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How would one define a musical legend? There are many talented musicians out there, so in order to make the status of legend as exclusive as possible we are going to have to make the criteria a bit more stringent. You need to be influential in your genre, you need to create music that would define zeitgeist, and your musical achievements need to stand the test of time. In the world of bass guitar, jazz and of course jazz fusion, Stanley Clarke is a musician that ticks all of the designated boxes.

Clarke’s predecessors, the likes of Mingus and Carter, defined the bass quite well, but they always relegated their instrument to the background. Clarke knew how to fit into the rhythm section of a band, but he also knew, before anyone else, that the bass guitar could serve as a fine lead instrument as well, and indeed could provide its own unique spin to melody and groove that was pretty much unprecedented. Thus was born jazz fusion, a musical genre where, for the first time, the bass was seen as a potential lead instrument.

When you think of a musician that specializes in bass guitar, you would imagine that he would be good at slap bass. That is just the sort of musicianship you would expect from a bass player. However, Clarke was the one that defined just how good slap bass could be. As one of the very first to actually use this now extremely popular technique, Clarke was responsible for popularizing and legitimizing it and turning it into the art form it now is today.

One of Clarke’s most important contributions to music comes from his incredible ability to merge genres. Prior to his arrival, genres were strict. People rarely ventured beyond certain aspects of their specific genre which is why Clarke had such a great time mixing things up. His genius lay in how effortlessly he was able to bring elements of different genres together as harmoniously as if they had always been this way.

In spite of the fact that Clarke was primarily a leading man, he was never afraid to pull back and allow himself to be a sideman, which is an admirable quality that a lot of musicians failed to implement at the heights of their careers. If there is one thing about Clarke that stands out most of all, it is the fact that he is still humble after having achieved so much. After all, when you are great enough to be able to not only get offered by the Doors themselves to join their band but to actually reject that offer, some pig headedness is not exactly unexpected. In spite of all this he remains humble, a calming influence for people that are still starting out in the music industry. If one thing is for sure, it is that Clarke is still just as innovative as ever, bringing out music that would still blow everyone’s minds.

Is Independent Music The Way of The Future?

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The music industry is an ever changing beast. Every day there is a new development, but if one thing is for certain it is that things are not nearly as good as they used to be. When you look back to the sixties and seventies, the music business was where it was at. If people wanted to earn the big bucks all they had to do was join the music industry. However, things have changed. People don’t buy records as much as they used to, and the music industry has been pretty much unable to come to terms with this brave new world.

In a way this has been a good thing, because it has paved the way for independent artists to start making their own mark on the industry. Now that record labels are becoming less and less powerful, they are not as able to monopolize and control the industry the way they would before. One amazing benefit of this is that black culture has started to come to the forefront once again, and this time it is being done right.

This may sound odd to you. After all, rappers and black musicians have been at the forefront of music for decades. However, one thing that you should keep in mind is that the image that these black artists portrayed was influenced at least in part by their corporate overlords, which is why the images were so sanitized and apolitical.

The independent artists that are coming up now such as Stormzy are a different breed entirely. They come from an era where you can release your original content using nothing but YouTube and SoundCloud. Online portals have become a big part of the independent music industry, which is why record labels are so adamant about shutting them down, or at least making it difficult for artists to upload their content there.

An example of how this is changing the music scene entirely can be seen with MC Lady Leshurr, a veritable icon of the grime music scene. She has created a name for herself in spite of never having released a full length LP, with her mix tapes and EPs being the only content she has put out. Her primary source of fame is YouTube, with tens of millions of views to her name. She has also been noted for not relying on sex appeal, which is something that a lot of female artists are forced to do by record labels.

In this manner, independent artists are completely redefining everything about the music scene. They are shaping the industry in such a way that it is becoming more of a positive influence on music, and a lot of the toxicity that the industry once had is going away. The industry should always be run by artists, and in this brave new world this is finally becoming a reality. Only time will tell whether indie artists can keep the success going.

Can Music Make You Buy More?

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Have you ever heard of the term “elevator music”? This term was generally used to refer to the instrumental, low brow music produced by the company Muzak. This music was designed to be as affordable as possible to produce which lead to that specific sound. Muzak as a company is no more, as it was acquired for a pretty penny by the Texas based company Mood Media. What a lot of people don’t know is that Muzak actually served a purpose, one that is quite chilling when you think about it.

The specific tones used to create Muzak were designed to make it so that workers could stay alert for longer periods of time. Research conducted on the matter determined that Muzak was an enormous success because it certainly did make employees work a little harder. Now, however, Mood Media is taking things in a different direction. The primary purpose of any company is to make it so that as much money is earned as possible. This is why Mood Media is starting to look into how Muzak can impact consumers and their purchasing habits as well in an attempt to make people buy more at stores.

One particularly significant client of Mood Media is the retail giant Target. Target started using overhead music in its stores in the year 2011, and continues to do so today. The experiment has turned out to be a success, and there are a number of reasons why this is the case. To start off with, we must look at the alternative that stores often have to look into while they are trying to implement music. The alternative is radio, and while this does provide a lot of energy to the store it also lacks character because of the fact that pretty much any store in the world can do the same.

Muzak allows these stores to create their own particular identity, with music that is designed for them and would allow customers to associate a particular character with the store and brand. This can help people keep coming back to the store because they would be able to form a connection with it. Music is the best thing in the world when it comes to the establishment of emotional bonds, and Mood Media is trying to tap into that fact in order to create something truly special.

Mood Media may have incorporated Muzak but this company’s philosophy is slightly different. The music is less lo-fi, it has more production value, and hundreds of DJs are contributing to their playlists every single day. Recorded music is not the only way that brands are promoting their stores either, a lot of stores are starting to improve their environments by providing live music as well such as piano music and the like. Whatever its form, music is known to alter moods, and this is why so many companies want to start using this to their advantage.