Mike Stern: Good Question


Good Question


Mike Stern (guitar)


Who Let the Cats Out? (Telarc 3115)

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Mike Stern (guitar), Richard Bona (bass), Roy Hargrove (trumpet), Dave Weckl (drums).

Composed by Mike Stern


Recorded: New York, mid-2006


Rating: 94/100 (learn more)

"Good Question" proves that legendary guitarist Mike Stern is aware of his influences and also of his place in modern jazz. Burning an exotic-sounding solo straight out of the gate, he wields his axe with significant comprehension of music theory. The scales chosen are not standard, and, even though a single chord seems to anchor the jam, what is heard is by no means stereotypical of even the most fearless fusion. The tune breaks away from its main motif and allows Stern the space to step out front and shine bright, and he seems to answer any questions that you may have about his talent. At an imaginative peak, he takes the classic, old-time jazz styles a step or two further, paying tribute to forefathers such as Wes Montgomery, Duke Ellington, and Count Basie, while adding a different voice to the mix with his willingness to push the boundaries much further. Scat vocals break in towards the end, and a drum breakdown occurs that will remind you of many other recordings, but this recording exists in a category of its own. The individuality is befitting of a player with such an extraordinary range and imagination.

Reviewer: Marcus Singletary


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