A brilliant player on both acoustic and electric basses, Stanley Clarke has spent much of his career outside of jazz, although he has the ability to play jazz with the very best. He played accordion as a youth, switching to violin and cello before settling on bass. He worked with R&B and rock bands in high school, but after moving to New York, he worked with Pharoah Sanders in the early '70s. George Duke showed a great deal of promise early in his career as a jazz pianist and keyboardist, but has forsaken that form to be a pop producer.
Stanley Clarke stretches his muscles and comes up with a mostly impressive, polystylistic, star-studded double album (now on one CD) that gravitates ever closer to the R&B mainstream. Clarke's writing remains strong and his tastes remain unpredictable, veering into rock, electronic music, acoustic jazz, even reggae in tandem with British rocker Jeff Beck. Clarke's excursion into disco, "Just a Feeling," is surprisingly and infectiously successful, thanks to a good bridge and George Duke's galvanizingly funky work on the Yamaha electric grand piano (his finest moment with Clarke by far). The brief "Blues for Mingus," a wry salute from one master bassist to another (Mingus died about six months before this album's release), is a cool acoustic breather for piano trio, and the eloquent Stan Getz can be detected, though nearly buried under the garish vocals and rock-style mix, on "The Streets of Philadelphia."
This album features Stanley Clarke, who needs little introduction. After working with Dexter Gordon, Gil Evans, Pharoah Sanders and Stan Getz his career took off when he formed the legendary Return to Forever band with Chick Corea. Patrice Rushen is a multi-Grammy-nominated artist. Leon 'Ndugu' Chancler has performed with Herbie Hancock, Freddie Hubbard and Miles Davis and recorded with George Duke, Weather Report, Lionel Richie, Thelonious Monk, The Crusaders and others.
Right after the release of the first Clarke/Duke Project LP Stanley Clarke and George Duke both decided to take a musical break from each other and do a pair of solo albums without the participation of the other.Duke produced 'Dream On' while Clarke produced this album 'Let Me Know You',both in 1982. Both albums are very much funky pop/R&B vocal albums with some curious differences. 'Let Me Know You' is the slightly more jazz oriented of the two and as always, Clarke is not quite as experienced (or communicative) as Duke.The songwriting is extremely strong and three "Straight From The Heart","I Just Want To Be Your Brother","The Force Of Love" and the pounding "New York City" find Clarke moving away from hardcore jazz-rock fusion and into the world of tighter,more carefully crafted and arranged R&B, funk and pop.
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.