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Mike Stern: All Over The Place (2012)

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Mike Stern: All Over The Place Track review of "All Over The Place"

How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

Guitarist Mike Stern projected a stylish, chops-heavy impression on the general jazz populous during his auspicious entry into the circuit, supporting jazz-fusion era Miles Davis
Miles Davis
Miles Davis
1926 - 1991
trumpet
. Indeed, one of the more distinctive guitarists spanning several decades, the artist enlists a who's who of current bass greats amid appearances by longtime associates, trumpeter Randy Brecker
Randy Brecker
Randy Brecker
b.1945
trumpet
and former Davis drummer Al Foster
Al Foster
Al Foster
b.1944
drums
. With a proverbial star-studded cast, Stern ventures into non-jazz circles, covering blues, West African themes, country rock, and other genres.

While Stern does go all over the place by cutting and pasting the jazz vernacular into various song forms and ethnocentric deities, he revisits familiar fusion territory on the title track. With a souped-up rhythm section featuring bassist Will Lee
Will Lee
Will Lee
b.1950
and drummer Keith Carlock generating smack, crackle and pop, Stern goes head-to-head with saxophonist Bob Malach via odd-metered time signatures, touching upon funk, rock and slashing improvisational segments. Along with pianist/producer Jim Beard
Jim Beard
Jim Beard
b.1960
piano
, the frontline delves into call-and-response mechanisms and reinvents the primary melody. Stern ups the ante with scathing linear runs, while bending his strings into submission and zooming in for the kill. It's a divergent program, modeled with emotive persuasions, affable arrangements and technical poise.

Personnel: Mike Stern: guitar; Bob Malach: saxophone; Will Lee: bass; Jim Beard: piano; Keith Carlock: drums.

Record Label: Heads Up International

Style: Fusion/Progressive Rock


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