253

Mike Stern: Who Let the Cats Out?

Jim Santella By

Sign in to view read count
Mike Stern: Who Let the Cats Out? Contemporary jazz gets hot when Mike Stern enters the room. His sessions are filled with adrenaline and made to last. This program of original compositions features an all-star crew of contemporary artists who provide the guitarist with a colorful palette. Excitement flows from every bar—and indeed every measure—of this exciting music.

Tumble Home features Bob Franceschini on tenor in a powerful, sizzling romp with Stern's guitar. "KT follows with a muted Roy Hargrove trumpet in a smoother affair that nevertheless finds Stern wailing ferociously, allowing his guitar to carry the band away in an uplifting cry. When Hargrove re-enters with an open horn, the band takes on some of the best emotional output of the session, recalling some of the best music from one of the guitarist's very first gigs: Blood, Sweat and Tears.

Good Question drives at a blazing fast tempo that allows the guitarist to flash his fiery technique, while "Language slows the pace with Richard Bona's unique bass and wordless vocal themes to let things mellow out. The slow ballad "We're With You features the harmonica of Gregoire Maret and finds Stern showering his audience with smooth jazz trappings. "Leni Goes Shopping, one of the high points of the album, follows with a hip look at the way rhythm and melody affect our moods; Stern plays in a quartet with Jim Beard, Chris Minh Doky and Kim Thompson.

Roll With It and "Who Let the Cats Out? sparkle with intensity as Stern pushes jazz/rock to the limits of anxiety. Who needs caffeine? Texas and "Blue Runway find the guitarist stretching out with passion on his sleeve, while "All You Need circles the band with gospel. These days, since album tracks are sometimes marketed as single downloads, it's nice to know which ones stand out. On Who Let the Cats Out?, however, every one is a winner.


Track Listing: Tumble Home; KT; Good Question; Language; Were With You; Leni Goes Shopping; Roll With It; Texas; Who Let the Cats Out?; All You Need; Blue Runway.

Personnel: Mike Stern: guitar; Roy Hargrove: trumpet; Bob Franceschini, Bob Malach: tenor saxophone; Gregoire Maret: harmonica; Jim Beard: piano, organ, synthesizer, clavinet; Chris Minh Doky, Meshell Ndegeocello, Victor Wooten, Anthony Jackson: bass; Richard Bona: bass, vocals; Dave Weckl, Kim Thompson: drums.

Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Heads Up International | Style: Fusion/Progressive Rock


Shop

More Articles

Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2) CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Goat Man & The House of the Dead CD/LP/Track Review Goat Man & The House of the Dead
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by James Nadal
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "Persuasion" CD/LP/Track Review Persuasion
by Jeff Winbush
Published: December 24, 2016
Read "Goran Ivanovic Trio" CD/LP/Track Review Goran Ivanovic Trio
by Budd Kopman
Published: May 1, 2016
Read "Live at Club Helsinki" CD/LP/Track Review Live at Club Helsinki
by Doug Collette
Published: January 15, 2017
Read "The BBC Sessions Vol. 1" CD/LP/Track Review The BBC Sessions Vol. 1
by Rokas Kucinskas
Published: October 29, 2016
Read "Danse" CD/LP/Track Review Danse
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 7, 2017
Read "Tomorrow" CD/LP/Track Review Tomorrow
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 7, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!