That Mike Stern is a gifted guitarist and in the front row of contemporary jazz guitarists is no surprise to those who have heard him perform. This being his debut CD collection for Heads Up reveals his accurate, imaginative, and on target approach to contemporary jazz guitar.
The stunning lineup of accompanying jazz artists adds to the charm and craft of this fine collection. The songs are written by Mike Stern. Drummers Dave Weckl and Kim Thompson put in a fine showing, along with Gregoire Maret on harmonica. Other exciting musicians include keyboardist Jim Bear, and the musical talents of Richard Bona, Anthony Jackson, Meshell Ndegeocello, Chris Minh Doky, and Victor Wooten. Also on hand to add further flavor to the collection is Roy Hargrove, Bob Franceschini and Bob Malach. These jazz musicians are well-known and add a special blend of salt & pepper to the performances.
There are eleven songs in the collection, and each one reflects the remarkable stylings of Mike Stern. Among the songs are "Tumble Home," "KT," "Good Question," "Language," "We're With You," "Leni Goes Shopping," "Roll With It," the innovative "Texas," "Who Let The Cats Out?," the intricate "All You Need," and the magic of "Blue Runway." Each song has a special appeal to the jazz listener, and each one will appeal to different listeners for different reasons!
Mike Stern really puts it together well with this collection. His stylings are top of the line, and he plays in a flawless manner that touches perfection every time he strikes a guitar chord. This is good jazz, the best from a young guitarist who knows what he is doing and shares that intimate jazz with the listening audience. Jazz listeners should enjoy this greatly!