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ALBUM REVIEWS

Mike Stern - Jeff Lorber Fusion: Eleven

Read "Eleven" reviewed by Jim Worsley

Eleven is a record co-led by fusion giants Mike Stern and Jeff Lorber. It features ten songs (Stern laughingly stated that he never was very good at math) which are a mix of originals and reworked vintage. Stern was also quoted as saying that he and Lorber are from “different orbits." One thing they do have in common is their highly melodic songwriting sensibilities. Having fun merging their sounds was the focus of this project. The other constant on the ...

SOCAL JAZZ

Mike Stern: Different Orbits

Read "Mike Stern: Different Orbits" reviewed by Jim Worsley

Having arrived in jny: London from jny: New York City to play two nights at legendary Ronnie Scott's with Dave Weckl, Tom Kennedy, and Randy Brecker, Mike Stern was understandably jet lagged. The revered guitarist and composer has no doubt become used to it. Traveling the world for many years now, the gifted artist can be found annually in Poland, Switzerland, Italy, China, Morocco, Japan, France, England, Sweden, Denmark, Canada, Germany, Czech Republic, and, well the list goes on. Darting ...

CATCHING UP WITH

Mike Stern: Living through a Jazz Clinic

Read "Mike Stern: Living through a Jazz Clinic" reviewed by Rob Wood

A mop of straight hair that swings unbidden to the beat. A face weathered and creased as an old fence post. Hands ribbed by dorsal veins knotting and splitting atop the flexor tendons like highway off-ramps. Eyes lit with a hazel fire. And a slightly goofy smile you might see in a dog very glad to see you. This is Mike Stern, guitar god. Yeah, a god in a pantheon that might include John Scofield, ...

SOCAL JAZZ

Mike Stern: Half Crazy

Read "Mike Stern: Half Crazy" reviewed by Jim Worsley

SoCal Jazz is back from safari to the auspicious Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix, Arizona. A follow-up with guitarist Mike Stern was the primary itinerary for this trip. Trip is the name of Stern's new record, just in case you missed the play on words. Unfortunately, Stern had a trip of another kind in 2016. How it happened, the devastating injuries sustained, how it has impacted his playing and more were detailed in Mike Stern: What A Trip, from earlier ...

YEAR IN REVIEW

Jim Worsley's Best Releases of 2017

Read "Jim Worsley's Best Releases of 2017" reviewed by Jim Worsley

As 2017 was another exceptional year in new music, choosing the recordings that rise above is a daunting task. It is also a lot of fun. Yes, such “drudgery" to listen to countless strong musical efforts from artists all over the world. The vast spectrum of seasoned pros, to new blood, and everything in between provided a jazz lover's earful. In random order here are my top 17 for '17. Diana Krall Turn Up The Quiet ...

SOCAL JAZZ

Mike Stern: What A Trip

Read "Mike Stern: What A Trip" reviewed by Jim Worsley

"I never trip. I just don't. But then, it just happened." This is how Mike Stern began his story as he explained to my wife and I how it happened. If you somehow missed it, “it" refers to the tumble Stern took in July of 2016. This accidental fall resulting in both shoulders being shattered. In addition to the broken humerus bones and broken arms, he suffered serious nerve damage in his right arm and right hand.

ALBUM REVIEWS

Mike Stern: Trip

Read "Trip" reviewed by Jeff Winbush

In the blink of an eye an accident can happen and when it does it can be a life-altering event. Think of a brain surgeon or a pro quarterback. Think of what it would mean it they suffered some sort of injury which made it impossible to grasp a scalpel or throw a football with the same accuracy as before. Then think of what it an accident like that means for Mike Stern. On July 3, 2016, the ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Mike Stern: Trip

Read "Trip" reviewed by James Nadal

Having established himself as an imaginative technical wizard in the forefront of the fusion movement during the 1980's, guitarist Mike Stern has left an indelible mark on the way the instrument is utilized in the jazz idiom. But there would be an unforeseen event that would test his physical and emotional will to overcome adversity. In July of 2016 Stern suffered a serious accident when he tripped over construction debris leaving his apartment in New York City. This led to ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Mike Stern: All Over The Place

Read "All Over The Place" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

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. 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 and former Davis drummer Al Foster. With a proverbial star-studded cast, Stern ventures into non-jazz circles, covering blues, West African themes, country rock, and other genres.

LIVE REVIEWS

Mike Stern And Kenny Garrett at Iridium, New York

Read "Mike Stern And Kenny Garrett at Iridium, New York" reviewed by AAJ Staff

Mike Stern and Kenny GarrettIridiumNew York, New YorkDecember 31, 2008

It is New Year's Eve, and the temperature shown on the buildings around Time Square as minus 12!... I had just seen Mike Stern, jazz-fusion guitarist extraordinaire, at Broadway's Iridium jazz club. To get there, I had to sacrifice a backpack, leaving it nearby as police would not allow entrants to the closed-off area, including clubs like Iridium, for the New Year's Eve celebrations to ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Mike Stern: Who Let the Cats Out?

Read "Who Let the Cats Out?" reviewed by Woodrow Wilkins

Mike Stern has outdone himself with Who Let the Cats Out?, the award-winning, three-time Grammy-nominated guitarist's thirteenth release as a leader. This collection of jazz, rock, blues and funk styles is comprised of eleven original songs. The title is both a playful tribute to Stern's wife, who loves cats, and the free expression displayed in the music. Born in Boston and reared in Washington, DC, Stern began his career as a guitarist with Blood, Sweat & Tears. ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Mike Stern: Who Let the Cats Out?

Read "Who Let the Cats Out?" reviewed by John Kelman

Guitarist Mike Stern has to be one of the hardest working musicians in jazz. When he's not out on the road, which is often the case, he's working on new ideas at weekly gigs at the 55 Bar in New York City. And when he's doing neither of those things, the eternal student is transcribing solos by Michael Brecker and studying theory with Charlie Banacos. While you can draw a line of logical development through Stern's discography as a leader, ...


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