Similar artists

Albums

$9.99

Jazz - Released January 14, 2004 | Sunnyside

Combine the innovative guitar energy of legendary fusion master Mike Stern with old friends (bassist Richard Bona, drummer Vinnie Colaiuta) and new (saxman Kenny Garrett), and anything is bound to happen. But fans expecting raucous swinging and jamming the whole time may be surprised at the subtle lyricism and exotic explorations that define these times for their hero. Yes, his electric is crackling on the hypnotic opener, "Chatter," but it's in the crazy, exotic context of a Middle Eastern vibe inspired by Pakistani great Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan (look out, Eddie Vedder!). Jim Beard's jumpy piano, Colaiuta's wild, New Orleans groove, and Garrett's swirling lines provide great support. Once Stern and company have the listener's attention, they can become seductive with more intimate affairs like the Joe Zawinul-influenced "Silver Lining," which features an exotic falsetto vocal by Bona, a former Zawinul Syndicate member who also propels the tune with his increasingly muscular basslines. Bona adds the same touch in a gentler way to the lush romance of "I Know You," featuring a soft-spoken harmony line by guest star banjo great Béla Fleck. This sequence of tunes sets the tone of the rest of the disc, which mixes more Khan-flavored gems (the colorful singalong "Mirage," featuring vocals by Elisabeth Kontomanou), soft ballads, and a sexy midtempo funk number that (gasp!) might translate to the smooth jazz format. Another highlight is the punchy bebop number "Remember," dedicated to Stern's longtime collaborator the late Bob Berg. Perhaps the only drawback is having Garrett on hand but only featuring him on three numbers. ~ Jonathan Widran
$17.99
$14.99

Jazz - Released September 8, 2017 | Heads Up

Hi-Res Booklet
$7.49

Contemporary Jazz - Released March 8, 1988 | Craft Recordings

$8.99

Contemporary Jazz - Released November 3, 2009 | Craft Recordings

$14.99

Jazz - Released September 8, 2017 | Heads Up

Trip was an album that happened because of Mike Stern's relentless determination to remain Mike Stern. On July 3, 2016, he was hailing a cab when he tripped over some concealed construction debris, broke both arms, and was taken to the hospital. He fractured both humerus bones and was left with significant nerve damage in his right hand, preventing him from accomplishing even the simplest of tasks -- including holding a guitar pick. Following a surgery in which 11 screws were put into his arm, Stern emerged in late October with Chick Corea, playing seated and wearing a black glove outfitted with Velcro attached to a Velcro-fitted pick. A second surgery followed and he gained more control of his nerve-damaged right hand by literally gluing and taping his fingers to a pick. It gradually strengthened his grip, and allowed him to regain his speed and technical precision. The recording of Trip began in January of 2017, six months after the accident. While the title's meaning has a double entendre, some of its song titles -- "Screws," "Scotch Tape and Glue" --also reference his surgical events. Stern enlisted an all-star cast playing in different configurations, achieving a diversity that even exceeds All Over the Place. The title track with drummer Dennis Chambers, bassist Victor Wooten, keyboardist/album producer Jim Beard, and saxophonist Bob Franceschini is a knotty exercise in rocking jazz-funk fusion with peeling guitar riffs, solos, and fills. There's a Miles Davis lilt to "Blueprint" with Randy Brecker guesting on muted trumpet, while Beard plays B-3 and synths, and Chambers offers his best take on Al Foster. Stern eventually touches on the blues before it winds out. "Half Crazy" is blazing, hard-grooving post-bop, with Beard on piano, swinging tenorist Bill Evans, drummer Lenny White, and Teymur Phell on bass. "Screws" commences slowly and quixotically with Wallace Roney on trumpet and the rest of the rhythm section above, as well as percussionist Arto Tuncboyaciyan. While the melody builds in layers and spirals upwards, Roney and Stern each solo hard, adding limber bluesy funk until they deconstruct it to a fade. Leni Stern adds her ngoni to the West African-tinged "Emilia" with Gio Moretti on wordless vocals hovering above the band's interplay. Stern's ngoni also adds a lithe dimension to the grooving, midtempo ballad "I Believe You." "Hope for That" is another intense, even transcendent fusion jam that bumps into rockist Latin terrain with drummer Dave Weckl driving a mean set of crossbeats. While fleet post-bop governs the hard swinging "Scotch Tape and Glue," with Evans returning on tenor, it is Stern's overdriven playing that sets the tone and controls its flow. Stern even picks up an acoustic guitar for the lovely quartet ballad "Gone," offering a side of himself we seldom hear. Stern may have been proving something to himself on Trip. But what he delivers is a tenacious, heartfelt work of imagination, discipline, technical facility, and pure pleasure. ~ Thom Jurek
$8.99

Contemporary Jazz - Released March 19, 2007 | Craft Recordings

$8.99

Contemporary Jazz - Released June 29, 1999 | Craft Recordings

$8.99

Contemporary Jazz - Released March 19, 2007 | Craft Recordings

$8.99

Pop - Released February 15, 1994 | Craft Recordings

$6.49

Contemporary Jazz - Released May 31, 2007 | Craft Recordings

$8.99

Contemporary Jazz - Released January 1, 1996 | Craft Recordings

Dance - Released April 23, 2013 | System Recordings

Download not available
$7.49

Contemporary Jazz - Released August 30, 1991 | Craft Recordings

$7.49

Contemporary Jazz - Released May 15, 2007 | Craft Recordings