Personnel: Mike Stern (guitar); Bob Malach, Michael Brecker (saxophone); Jim Beard (piano, Hammond organ, synthesizer); Harvie Swartz (acoustic bass); Will Lee (bass); Dennis Chambers, Ben Perowsky (drums).
Recorded at Skyline Studios, New York and Carriage House Studios, Stamford, Connecticut.
All songs written by Mike Stern.
IS WHAT IT IS was nominated for Best Contemporary Jazz Performance in the 37th Annual Grammy Awards.
Mike Stern is one of the more creative fusion guitarists, playing with the power of rock but often taking sophisticated improvisations. On this passionate set (which consists of nine of his originals), Stern is joined by the keyboards of Jim Beard, bassist Will Lee, Dennis Chambers or Ben Perowsky on drums and (on three songs apiece) the tenors of Michael Brecker and Bob Malach. Overall this is one of Mike Stern's better recordings. ~ Scott Yanow
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