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. Clarke was born in 1951 in Philadelphia. Encouraged by his musically-inclined mother, he took up violin and cello at an early age, only to find his hands growing too big to comfortably play the violin and his legs much too long to easily accommodate the cello. Turning to the bass, he played in R&B and rock bands beginning in junior high school. After high school he enrolled in the prestigious Philadelphia Musical Academy.