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Articles | Featured | Future

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Leni Stern: 3

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For her critically acclaimed Dakar Suite (Leni Stern Recordings, 2016), Leni Stern presented her African enhanced sounds with lavish 10-piece orchestrations and arrangements complete with horns and violins. For this 2018 release, Stern's compositions were written specifically for a 3 piece, as opposed to adapting a 10 piece composition. Hence the title. The “Khavare" (party) gets started with the sabar (a Sengalese drum) cadence of percussionist Alioune Faye. This lively tune is broadened by bassist Mamadou Ba and ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

A Six-String Travelogue

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Leni Stern 3 Leni Stern Recordings 2018 If it's an exaggeration to say that Leni Stern's gone native after her life-shaping time in Senegal, it's probably not by much. 3 isn't the result of merely studying and and learning a few new forms, but an unrestrained immersion in the life and traditions of a region that's grown close to her heart. The short-ish running time still makes room for a touch of flamenco, some cross-pollination ...

SOCAL JAZZ

Leni Stern: Finally The Fame Has Come

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Leni Stern has long been a triumphant voice of inspiration. The truth and steadfast beauty of her lyrics and music has touched many hearts around the world. Recognition is a slippery slope, especially when one is not seeking or prioritizing it. Stern has stayed true to her roots and focused her impressive compositions, vocals, and guitar skills in a manner befitting of a woman steeped in authenticity and artistic vision. Still, it is also befitting that her critically ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Leni Stern: Smoke, No Fire

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In March, 2012, a military coup overthrew the government in the western African nation of Mali, disrupting life for the civilian population--repetitively the victims in such situations of political turmoil. Guitarist Leni Stern was living in Mali at the time of the coup, and though she could have departed the country, she decided to stay and record Smoke, No Fire amidst chaotic circumstances in the capital city of Bamako.This record is the stark counterpart to her production of ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Leni Stern: Sabani

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The West African country of Mali is positively identified as a primordial source of the stringed instrumentation of American popular music rooted in blues and jazz. Renowned guitarist Leni Stern first sought out Mali's rich musical culture years back, and now comes full circle with the release of Sabani--composed, performed, and recorded entirely on African soil.Though Stern has been leaning towards a strong African influence since releasing Africa (Self Produced, 2007), she states that Sabani is the result ...

INTERVIEWS

Leni Stern: Storyteller

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Songwriter and guitarist Leni Stern's Africa (LSR, 2007) marks a significant new chapter in a career marked by bold changes. Her fearlessness as an independent traveler, and her endless curiosity about the workings of the world which surrounds her, are reflected in her music. Her lyrics are tender, poetic and, above all, truthful.

As a singer, she has variously been described as a combination of Marlene Dietrich with the phrasing of Billie Holiday, and as a ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Leni Stern: Africa

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While her husband, guitarist Mike Stern, has been bringing a fascination with the music of Africa to his own projects since the early part of the decade, they've always remained undeniably jazz recordings, with conventional instrumentation. Guitarist/vocalist Leni, on the other hand, has made a more definitive dive into the continent's musical pool with Africa.

Leni Stern's early records were, like Mike's, more definitively jazz-centric, but in recent years she's evolved into a singer/songwriter, albeit one ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Leni Stern: Alu May

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Guitarist Leni Stern has always been an artist willing to push the boundaries of her creativity. Upon visiting the African nation of Mali in 2006, the multi-faceted guitarist/vocalist engaged in an experimental blending of her unique musicianship with a group of authentic African vocalists and instrumentalists. The resulting five song EP, Alu Mayé (Have You Heard), is a profound undertaking of personalized musical statements that seamlessly intertwine the diversity of distant cultures.

Along with four percussionists and three singers, the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Leni Stern: When Evening Falls

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Guitarist and singer Leni Stern, an observant and sensitive world citizen, has drawn on her fascinating experiences for When Evening Falls , a musical journey that traverses the globe to examine an eclectic range of emotions and themes. The soul and heart of the Munich-born artist wends through Kenya, India, Louisiana, Palestine, and the East Village, infusing her poignant songs with world music influences and textures. The delightful “Ice Cold Water $1" is a humorous peek into a ...