All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

10

Mike Stern: Trip

James Nadal By

Sign in to view read count
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 severe fractures in both arms, and critical nerve damage extending to fingers in his right hand. After several operations and intense therapy, he was back on the guitar, and Trip proves he has not lost any of his amazing musical prowess.

Assembling an all-star cast of accompanists, Stern went back into the studio to record his 17th release as leader, and re-affirm his place as a force to be reckoned with. The title track opens with Stern's signature blazing riffs bouncing off the bedrock foundation consisting of Victor Wooten on bass and Dennis Chambers on drums. The perennial Miles Davis influence is revived on "Blueprint," which features Randy Brecker on trumpet, and Jim Beard on organ and keys. Beard plays keyboards throughout, and also produced the project, as he has so many of Stern's previous endeavors. "Hope For That," has long-time friend and drummer, Dave Weckl sitting in, who possibly knows Stern's music better than anyone, and can accent the changes with a refined brilliance

The music takes a traditional swing orientation on "Half Crazy," that brings in Lenny White on drums, bassist Teymur Phell, and Bill Evans on tenor. White and Phell are part of his working band, and the musical interconnection is evident. This same lineup and feeling returns on "Scotch Tape and Glue," named after the process Stern created to be able to hold the pick with his right hand after the accident.

Trumpeter Wallace Roney performs on "Screws," a funk-fusion excursion sans bass, opting for an electronic pulse on the lower end. This is pure Stern territory as he takes his Strat into the outer limits, Roney augmenting the amplified tension in the higher registers. They continue with this instrumental arrangement on "B Train," which is a groove injected, spaced-out version of "Take The A Train," Roney again demonstrating why he is one of the premier horn men on the scene. Beard also shows formidable piano chops on this venture, as the song goes through some adventurous straight ahead sections.

Stern exposes his sensitive side with the acoustical, "Gone," presenting his dexterity on the nylon six string. His wife Leni Stern, plays the African three stringed ngoni on "Amelia," which has vocalist Gio Moratti joining Stern in singing, in what might sound like an unusual format for Stern, as he is identified with his powerful electric persona. Leni reappears on "I Believe You," that has drummer Will Calhoun and bassist Edmond Gilmore adding their talents to this uplifting ballad.

Though Trip stands on its own merits as a quality Stern recording, with the back story concerning the accident, it represents an artist with an unwavering sense of purpose. Stern accepted the arduous medical situation he was confronting, and was steadfast in his belief that he would endure and overcome, with his guitar abilities intact. This is a testament to that.

Track Listing: Trip; Blueprint; Half Crazy; Screws; Gone; Whatchacallit; Emilia; Hope For That; I Believe You; Scotch Tape and Glue; B Train.

Personnel: Mike Stern: guitar, vocals; Randy Brecker: trumpet (1, 2); Jim Beard: piano, Hammond organ, keyboards; Dennis Chambers: drums (1, 2, 6); Tom Kennedy: bass (1, 2, 6); Arto Tuncboyaciyan: percussion (1, 2, 4, 7, 8); Bob Franceschini: tenor saxophone (1, 6); Victor Wooten: bass (1); Bill Evans: tenor sax (3, 10); Lenny White: drums (3, 4, 10, 11); Teymur Phell: bass (3, 7, 8, 11); Wallace Roney: tumpet (4, 11); Will Calhoun: drums (5, 9); Edmond Gilmore: acoustic bass (5); Gio Moretti: vocal (7); Leni Stern: ghoni (7, 9); Dave Weckl: drums (8); Edmond Gilmore: bass (9); Elhadji Alioune Faye: percussion (10).

Title: Trip | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Heads Up International

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

SoCal Jazz
Best of / Year End
SoCal Jazz
CD/LP/Track Review
Live Reviews
Read more articles
Trip

Trip

Heads Up International
2017

buy
All Over The Place

All Over The Place

Heads Up International
2012

buy
 

Big Neighborhood

Enja Records
2009

buy
Who Let the Cats Out?

Who Let the Cats Out?

Heads Up International
2006

buy
 

These Times

Enja Records
2003

buy
Voices

Voices

Atlantic Jazz
2002

buy

View All Events

Create Widget | Open RSS Feed

Date Time Detail Price
Jul20Fri 20:00 20:00
Mike Stern
Fasching
Stockholm, Sweden
Jul29Sun 19:00 19:00
Mike Stern
Jazz Cafe
London, UK
Jul30Mon 19:00 19:00
Mike Stern
Jazz Cafe
London, UK
Aug14Tue 8:30 pm 8:30 pm
Mike Stern
Birdland
New York, NY
$30
Aug14Tue 11:00 pm 11:00 pm
Mike Stern
Birdland
New York, NY
$30
Aug15Wed 8:30 pm 8:30 pm
Mike Stern
Birdland
New York, NY
$30
Aug15Wed 11:00 pm 11:00 pm
Mike Stern
Birdland
New York, NY
$30

Related Articles

Read Smart Grid CD/LP/Track Review
Smart Grid
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 16, 2018
Read Monochrome CD/LP/Track Review
Monochrome
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: July 16, 2018
Read Attitude Manouche CD/LP/Track Review
Attitude Manouche
by Chris Mosey
Published: July 16, 2018
Read Geometry of Caves CD/LP/Track Review
Geometry of Caves
by Troy Dostert
Published: July 16, 2018
Read This World of Dew CD/LP/Track Review
This World of Dew
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: July 16, 2018
Read Gegenschein CD/LP/Track Review
Gegenschein
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 15, 2018
Read "The Danish Sessions" CD/LP/Track Review The Danish Sessions
by Chris Mosey
Published: August 2, 2017
Read "The Princess" CD/LP/Track Review The Princess
by Mark Corroto
Published: November 18, 2017
Read "Sonic Fiction" CD/LP/Track Review Sonic Fiction
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 4, 2018
Read "Mata Hati" CD/LP/Track Review Mata Hati
by Ian Patterson
Published: July 29, 2017
Read "Zero" CD/LP/Track Review Zero
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: February 4, 2018
Read "Dr. Quixotic's Traveling Exotics" CD/LP/Track Review Dr. Quixotic's Traveling Exotics
by Karl Ackermann
Published: May 5, 2018