Mike Stern: Tumble Home
Mike Stern (guitar)
Who Let the Cats Out? (Telarc 3115)
Composed by Mike Stern.
Recorded: New York, mid-2006
Rating: 89/100 (learn more)
Mike Stern's "Tumble Home" is an intricate composition, and it is amazing that the players actually are so tight on it. Even though this is a studio recording, the jam sounds very live and the tones always sound real. Of course, Stern's guitar is processed through a variety of sonic simulators, but even his instrument manages to sound dry.
The album Who Let the Cats Out? features an all-star lineup of jazz heavyweights, and the playing is correspondent with such expertise. A musician such as Stern demands and deserves the best complimentary situation, and this session finds him in comfortable, sympathetic surroundings. The bass walks, the drums roll, and Stern himself takes a solo that shows off his stuff.
While his turn sits upon a single chord, his choice of scales is nice and his phrasing is beyond professional. He exhibits an understanding of the intervals on guitar that separate jazz from other types of music, and he never slips into either blues or rock territory (unlike so many of his contemporaries). Although, with gain added, his instrument may exude the familiar ringing tone of a six-string, solid-body guitar, Stern is no stereotypical player and this is no predictable recording.
Reviewer: Marcus Singletary