Album Remarks & Appraisals:
Since his days with Blood Sweat & Tears in the mid-1970s, followed by stints with Billy Cobham and Miles Davis band in the '80s, and a solo career that now spans more than 25 years, guitarist Mike Stern has used hi sjazz roots as a starting point for exploring a range of alternate territories that include R&B, rock, swing, funk, world music and numerous other regions along the musical topography. The recipient of Guitar Player magazine's Certified Leged Award for 2012, he's an artist who's not aftraid to bring numberous styles and ideas - however diverse - into the same place just to see what happens.
All Over the Place is Stern's new recording on Heads Up International, a division of Concord Music Group. Set for release on June 19, 2012, the 11-song set aligns the characteristically diverse and adventurous guitarist with a cadre of brilliant guests; including trumpeter Randy Brecker, saxophonist Kenny Garrett; and drummers Dave Weckl, Keith Carlock and Lionel Cordew. Also on hand is a delegation of high-caliber electric and acoustic bass players: Esperanza Spalding, Richard Bona, Victor Wooten, Anthony Jackson, Dave Holland, Tom Kennedy, Will Lee and Victor Bailey.
I've been playing a lot of different kinds of great music with a lot of different musicians on some of my more recent records, says Stern, whose Big Neighborhood released on Heads Up in 2009 followed a similarly eclectic vibe. I love bebop, swing, rock, all the stuff that a lot of guitar players especially jazz players tend to include in their music. It s the nature of the instrument, but very much a part of my nature as well. There s a lot of music that really inspires me, and it usually covers quite a few territories.
The guitar tends to keep you open-minded, because you hear it in so many places, says Stern, listing many places he himself has ventured along the way not just on All Over the Place, but in earlier work as well. You hear it in rock, in country, in pop, in funk, in classical, you hear it in jazz, you hear it in so many kinds of music that you can immediately identify it on one level or another.
Stern is ready at a moments notice to go to all of these places and more, and he s ready and willing to bring anyone along for the ride. Music, to me, is a language of the heart, he says. I hope people will get some emotional payoff from what I ve done on this recording. That s the vibe that I continue to go for with all of my music.
From his days with Blood Sweat & Tears through a stint with Miles Davis, guitarist Mike Stern has created a sound that is always individual but has worked with any project. In "All Over the Place," he again goes those directions with a strong and shifting backup cast. The material goes from a funky "Blues for Al," which features drummer Al Foster, another Davis alumnus, to a reflective "You Never Told Me." On the latter piece, Stern plays on acoustic guitar with a synthetic string section that is not half-bad. The guitarist's wife, Leni, and trumpeter Randy Brecker join in on an up-tempo "Out of the Blue," which gives Stern space for a solo that is devoid of the funk that is the strongest sound on the release. The album also features work by saxophonists Chris Potter and Kenny Garrett (another Davis vet), drummer Dave Weckl, and a battalion of bassists from Dave Holland to Esperenza Spalding. Once again, Stern is sort of a Pat Metheny with soul.
Mike Stern is releasing a new album. You probably are wondering why I am posting about a jazz guitarist. It's simple, this album has eight different bassists playing it. Mike invited some of the best bassists that we all know and made a album with their precious collaboration. It features bassists like Victor Wooten, Victor Bailey and Dave Holland so we can only expect goods things coming from this album. The sad thing is, we still have to wait. All Over the Place will be released in June 19 and this time I don't find any pre-sale in Ebay or Amazon. Expect my personal review as soon i can hear it decently.
The other thing he shares with Brecker is the ability to make great sense in both acoustic and electric contexts, over swing or rock beats, either with gentle sensibility or with great muscular power. So, he's a man to match Metheny's range, then.
Stern is on record stating music is a language of the heart. With the release of All Over The Place Stern has gone deep and well past the heart, Stern hung a hard left at the soul and kept going till he found what he needed. The end result is easily the release of the year.
Audio Mixers: Jim Beard; Phil Magnotti.
Liner Note Author: Bill Miljowski.
Recording information: Avatar Studios, New York, NY (01/10/2012); B&C Studios, New York, NY (01/10/2012); Bonayuma Recording Studio, Brooklyn, NY (01/10/2012); East West Studios, Los Angeles, CA (01/10/2012); Ian London Productions, East Islip, NY (01/10/2012); Avatar Studios, New York, NY (05/17/2011/05/18/2011); B&C Studios, New York, NY (05/17/2011/05/18/2011); Bonayuma Recording Studio, Brooklyn, NY (05/17/2011/05/18/2011); East West Studios, Los Angeles, CA (05/17/2011/05/18/2011); Ian London Productions, East Islip, NY (05/17/2011/05/18/2011); Avatar Studios, New York, NY (12/03/2011); B&C Studios, New York, NY (12/03/2011); Bonayuma Recording Studio, Brooklyn, NY (12/03/2011); East West Studios, Los Angeles, CA (12/03/2011); Ian London Productions, East Islip, NY (12/03/2011).
Photographer: Sandrine Lee.
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