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  1. #51

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post

    Taking away the fact that Mike has a weird squelchy tone, and stripping away the obvious blues rock stuff and so on, what is it about Mikes playing that makes it not jazz to you?
    .
    But then it's not Mike Stern. ALL that is what = Mike Stern. (I don't think his tone is "squelchy", it just sounds like processed 80s studio chorus on steroids. But hey- if that's what HE digs, that's all that matters.)


    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    Or don’t, and maybe we leave it at that - can we agree that he’s a highly jazz influenced guitarist who plays both jazz and fusion in so much as those labels mean anything?


    I think that's perfect.

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  3. #52

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    I think it sounds super squelchy and I will punch the man who says otherwise

  4. #53

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    Although I daresay you also think August is the wrong colour.

  5. #54

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    I think it sounds super squelchy and I will punch the man who says otherwise
    To my ears it's more yanny. Not squelchy at all.
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  6. #55

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    Quote Originally Posted by joe2758 View Post
    to my ears it's more yanny. Not squelchy at all.
    war

  7. #56

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  8. #57

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    That was pretty cool.

    I'd like to hear (from Mike) how he arrived at his tone; that "no-pick-attack-with-heavy-chrous" thing. It's very unusual/unique.

  9. #58

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    Quote Originally Posted by ruger9 View Post
    That was pretty cool.

    I'd like to hear (from Mike) how he arrived at his tone; that "no-pick-attack-with-heavy-chrous" thing. It's very unusual/unique.
    Did you watch the OP video? He said it was to make his guitar sound more like an archtop.

    I know, me neither.

  10. #59

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    That’s a great clip. I wish they played the whole song - sucks when there are bass or drum solos and someone cuts them out. The contrast between the processed sound of Mike Stern and the clean, dry sound of Peter Bernstein was a little much for me at first but by the time the solos happened I appreciated the difference. I think it was mainly going back and forth in the head that it seemed too different, to me at least. Some really great playing though. It is interesting looking back on why these guys (Metheny, Scofield, Stern etc.) chose these sounds since they were novel at the time and very different from the norm. I didn’t know that he chose that to sound more like an archtop - I have to wonder if that explanation is tongue in cheek.


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  11. #60

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dylan Martin View Post
    I am a new member and don`t really post here BUT for the sake of humanity I hope I never hear Yngwie Malmsteen in the context of Mike Stern again.
    Honestly, you could replace Yngwie with any other metal shredder, and I'd have said the same. I don't know anything about Yngwie's personality, so I was speaking strictly to the music. I know Mike is a nice guy because I've met him. I also know that fame can do weird things to people.

    But if the Yngwie comparison bothers you, swap in Petrucci or Zakk Wilde or whomever.
    "I'm opposed to picketing, but I don't know to show it." --Mitch Hedberg

  12. #61

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    Quote Originally Posted by rio View Post
    That’s a great clip. I wish they played the whole song - sucks when there are bass or drum solos and someone cuts them out. The contrast between the processed sound of Mike Stern and the clean, dry sound of Peter Bernstein was a little much for me at first but by the time the solos happened I appreciated the difference. I think it was mainly going back and forth in the head that it seemed too different, to me at least. Some really great playing though. It is interesting looking back on why these guys (Metheny, Scofield, Stern etc.) chose these sounds since they were novel at the time and very different from the norm. I didn’t know that he chose that to sound more like an archtop - I have to wonder if that explanation is tongue in cheek.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    It would be a very good joke wouldn't it?

    I really think that the 'Marmite' aspect of players is so important. It's the thing that makes them stand out...

  13. #62

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    At one time I had the same teacher as Mike, (Charlie Banacos). I asked Charlie several times about how he would categorize Mikes playing style. He always said "Mike is a Bad Cat, a Monster, He can play whatever he hears", but it's not always Jazz. I think Mike plays Jazz Fusion with Rock/Blues overtones. He can certainly blow over changes. I think it's an age thing too. I'm 60 and didn't start listening to Jazz until around 1978 when Al Dimeola started to get airplay on rock stations. I played trumpet/piano in grade school then switched to guitar in high school like a lot of others when Hendrix, Clapton, and Page came along. It's kind of funny. Schofield and Rosenwinkel, use pedals, while Metheny has big hair an guitar synths, but there always considered to be jazz guitarist. When Mike was getting started in jazz, he was roommates with Jaco Pastorius. He said they spent 10 hours a day studying tunes from the Real Book.

  14. #63

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    Quote Originally Posted by Strbender View Post
    At one time I had the same teacher as Mike, (Charlie Banacos). I asked Charlie several times about how he would categorize Mikes playing style. He always said "Mike is a Bad Cat, a Monster, He can play whatever he hears", but it's not always Jazz. I think Mike plays Jazz Fusion with Rock/Blues overtones. He can certainly blow over changes. I think it's an age thing too. I'm 60 and didn't start listening to Jazz until around 1978 when Al Dimeola started to get airplay on rock stations. I played trumpet/piano in grade school then switched to guitar in high school like a lot of others when Hendrix, Clapton, and Page came along. It's kind of funny. Schofield and Rosenwinkel, use pedals, while Metheny has big hair an guitar synths, but there always considered to be jazz guitarist. When Mike was getting started in jazz, he was roommates with Jaco Pastorius. He said they spent 10 hours a day studying tunes from the Real Book.
    Yeah, Mike can play the crap out of standards and swings hard, more so IMO than some archtop players I could, but won't, mention.

    If that isn't enough to qualify him as a jazz guitarist, other's criteria must be different to mine.

    Anyway, I'd love to hear more about Banacos if you have the time.

  15. #64

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    Did you watch the OP video? He said it was to make his guitar sound more like an archtop.

    I know, me neither.
    Interesting, since it sounds NOTHING like an archtop.

  16. #65

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave24309 View Post
    Interesting that he says he uses a 10-38 set of strings and puts an 11 on top. He makes it sound like a 10-38 set is common (old Fender mediums?)....NOT. Curt Mangan makes a set - could that be what he uses?
    I do think 10-38 was common, the old Fender 150 set popularized by Hendrix, Allman and Clapton IIRC. EVH had 9-40. Just not in Jazz.
    Last edited by blille; 07-13-2018 at 01:29 AM.

  17. #66

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    All jazz is a fusion of elements and influences. The genius of jazz is that it can do that so readily.
    Beauty is as close to terror as we can well endure. -Rainer Maria Rilke

  18. #67

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boston Joe View Post
    I met him a few years ago after one of his gigs. He was just hanging out at the merch table taking to people as we filed out. He was super cool and friendly. Definitely a guy you could hang with and talk about just about anything.

    First time I heard Mike was when Miles played here just after his Man With a Horn album was released. Mike must be an alright guy if he can surivive Miles! Lol!!!

  19. #68

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    A discussion easily and empirically solved by saying - go transcribe some Mike Stern.


    His music might be ‘not jazz’ to some, but you’d have to be crazy or deaf to say there’s no jazz in it.

    Stern probably plays more bop vocabulary than some contemporary acoustic jazz players.
    Agreed. I laugh when the jazz snobs come out and say Stern is 'not jazz'.

    He was good enough for Miles to think that he WAS jazz; and you can't get much deeper pedigree than Miles.

  20. #69

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug B View Post
    Agreed. I laugh when the jazz snobs come out and say Stern is 'not jazz'.

    He was good enough for Miles to think that he WAS jazz; and you can't get much deeper pedigree than Miles.
    Yeah, but... was Miles even playing "jazz" at that point? Alot of people say not really... (nothing against Stern) That wasn't Miles' best period.

  21. #70

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    From earlier in the thread: Stern uses .10-.38 gauge strings with an .11 replacement. You need to be careful on Fenders with that old Fender gauge. The pickup magnets will actually pull the bass notes out of tune, if you don't lower the pickups.

  22. #71

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug B View Post
    Agreed. I laugh when the jazz snobs come out and say Stern is 'not jazz'.

    He was good enough for Miles to think that he WAS jazz; and you can't get much deeper pedigree than Miles.
    Agreed. I wonder if there are any in this forum.

    Quote Originally Posted by ruger9 View Post
    Yeah, but... was Miles even playing "jazz" at that point? A lot of people say not really... (nothing against Stern) That wasn't Miles' best period.
    Yes he was.

    Are you among those people? If not there’s no need to discuss it

    Whether or not it wasn’t his best period doesn’t mean that he wasn’t playing jazz.


    Quote Originally Posted by Greentone View Post
    From earlier in the thread: Stern uses .10-.38 gauge strings with an .11 replacement. You need to be careful on Fenders with that old Fender gauge. The pickup magnets will actually pull the bass notes out of tune, if you don't lower the pickups.
    Because the tension is much lower?
    Last edited by blille; 10-21-2019 at 11:03 AM.

  23. #72

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    Dixieland is jazz, fusion is jazz, Mike Stern is jazz. His recordings are categorized as jazz, he plays with jazz musicians, he plays jazz tunes. Even when he hits the overdrive pedal and bends a note a third, he generally comes off that bend with a phrase that only a jazz player could pull off. He plays modern jazz, which now has all kinds of world music influences included. Miles Davis never played anything but jazz, ever. He just was smart enough to realize, more than once, that jazz is expandable, a living art form, not museum music.

  24. #73

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    Yeah, anything can be jazz, really. Here's a good example

    It's on the avant garde side, but



  25. #74

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    Quote Originally Posted by ruger9 View Post
    Yeah, anything can be jazz, really. Here's a good example

    It's on the avant garde side, but


    Not bad, somewhere in between Frisell and Lage. To me here is the canonical definition of Jazz. Wise men.


  26. #75

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    The good thing is Mike Stern has an identifiable guitar style. The bad is its very cold sounding and void of warmth associated with say even John Scofield.
    I think Mike is a great player for sure,but cares little for his overall tone.

    And while this can be said of many Jazz players, it really gets in the way for me as a listener. I also feel he tends to play the same solo as far as telling a story.
    I think if he got rid of the digital delay and chorus it would be to his advantage.
    But it sure has not hurt his career,nor keep people from hiring him as a sideman.

  27. #76

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    Stern's rig rundown was actually one of my favorites. Seems like such a cool, normal cat.

    I've seen him live (with Eric Johnson). Watched alot of YT stuff. He's just not my bag. I don't care if he's "jazz or not", his playing doesn't speak to me.

    And that's ok.

    No one's playing speaks to everyone. That's how art forms work. If you dig him, great. If you don't, fine- doesn't make you wrong, just means you don't dig him.

    I'm sure there are people who "don't get" Frisell, or Campilongo. No worries. Dig what you dig. Just don't ridicule others if they DON'T dig what you dig. Dig?

  28. #77

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    Where's the fun in that?

  29. #78

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    Hey Stern fans-

    If someone asked you, "where to START" with Stern.... what would you tell them? Keep in mind, your favorite Stern may not be the same answer as "best place to start" with Stern....

    Sort of like "if you don't like THIS Stern, then Stern just isn't your guy" lol

  30. #79

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    Quote Originally Posted by ruger9 View Post
    Hey Stern fans-

    If someone asked you, "where to START" with Stern.... what would you tell them? Keep in mind, your favorite Stern may not be the same answer as "best place to start" with Stern....

    Sort of like "if you don't like THIS Stern, then Stern just isn't your guy" lol
    Stern ripping it up with Bob Berg back in the 80s? Chromazone and all that stuff. Massively dated, sure, but it has vibe coming out of its ears.

  31. #80

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    Quote Originally Posted by jads57 View Post
    The good thing is Mike Stern has an identifiable guitar style. The bad is its very cold sounding and void of warmth associated with say even John Scofield.I think Mike is a great player for sure,but cares little for his overall tone.And while this can be said of many Jazz players, it really gets in the way for me as a listener. I also feel he tends to play the same solo as far as telling a story.I think if he got rid of the digital delay and chorus it would be to his advantage.But it sure has not hurt his career,nor keep people from hiring him as a sideman.
    funny, Sco's tone is cold and keeps me from enjoying him. Stern's tone is warm and fat and fluid, and those who think he plays the same solo repeatedly really need to get some ear training.

  32. #81

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    Stern ripping it up with Bob Berg back in the 80s? Chromazone and all that stuff. Massively dated, sure, but it has vibe coming out of its ears.
    Done. Watched some Miles w/Stern as well (that's the most bluesy/rocky I've heard Stern play).

    To me, I call that fusion. Again- *I* call that fusion. I would not classify that as "jazz" in my own mind, other than saying if it's not definable as anything else (rock, blues, country, etc), then it must be jazz. I actually downloaded Simon Phillips Protocol (with Andy Timmons- I'm a big Timmons fan), and as much as I love Timmons, I just can't get into SPP.

    It's just not my bag, baby. I just watched Stern's rig rundown again, damn I love the guy... what he plays just doesn't speak to me.
    (altho, I DO "get" how exciting it must have been at the time... that was sort of the high time of fusion, no? Exciting and NEW?) Perhaps it's one of those "had to be there" things?

    But that's ok. A friend of mine and I were talking music once, and he's a huge Bob Dylan fan. I am not. I've always been a Springsteen fan, he is NOT. Interesting, since Dylan was one of Bruce's biggest influences. My friend summed it up quite well I thought: "hey- you can't like everybody."

  33. #82

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    Quote Originally Posted by ruger9 View Post
    Hey Stern fans-

    If someone asked you, "where to START" with Stern.... what would you tell them? Keep in mind, your favorite Stern may not be the same answer as "best place to start" with Stern....

    Sort of like "if you don't like THIS Stern, then Stern just isn't your guy" lol

    I started with the Brecker Brothers growing up. Maybe you don’t like Stern, but how about Michael Brecker?

    I agree with the Bob Berg comment. He also made a standards album.

  34. #83

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    Mike Stern has always been too much to me and my ears. Neither his playing or tone have caught me musically. Even though fusion was the first style that made me interested in jazz music, I would never consider Stern as my favorite guitarist in fusion music. I rather listen to Georg ”Jojje” Wadenius and Steve Khan from BST than Stern.



    Have I found it yet? I said that but I didn’t knew it. Did I knew that I had found it yet? No, it wasn’t what I was looking for. Nevermind. Ok.

    -Pataphysical monologue based on Cartesian theory

  35. #84

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    Quote Originally Posted by ruger9 View Post
    Done. Watched some Miles w/Stern as well (that's the most bluesy/rocky I've heard Stern play).

    To me, I call that fusion. Again- *I* call that fusion. I would not classify that as "jazz" in my own mind, other than saying if it's not definable as anything else (rock, blues, country, etc), then it must be jazz. I actually downloaded Simon Phillips Protocol (with Andy Timmons- I'm a big Timmons fan), and as much as I love Timmons, I just can't get into SPP.
    Thought you meant Bobby Timmons for a second... OK so the thing that's interesting to me about the whole Brecker Bros/Stern/Berg cohort is they were all bop language players working in fusion music. Sure they played the big 80's pentatonic licks (Brecker was just as influenced by rock guitarists as Stern) but they are so steeped in bop vocabulary it's seems wrong to me to compare them to the more rock oriented fusion players. They are New York guys.

    The Stern stuff with Miles is badass - Star People is great.

    If you want to listen to Stern the jazz standards guitarist, you are looking at more recent stuff. My favourite playing of his is what I heard at the 55 bar in 2017. Pure bop with electric instruments. Fantastic stuff, and that was the year of his injury.

    It's just not my bag, baby. I just watched Stern's rig rundown again, damn I love the guy... what he plays just doesn't speak to me.
    (altho, I DO "get" how exciting it must have been at the time... that was sort of the high time of fusion, no? Exciting and NEW?) Perhaps it's one of those "had to be there" things?
    I thought I hated 80s fusion for the longest time. I don't.

    But that's ok. A friend of mine and I were talking music once, and he's a huge Bob Dylan fan. I am not. I've always been a Springsteen fan, he is NOT. Interesting, since Dylan was one of Bruce's biggest influences. My friend summed it up quite well I thought: "hey- you can't like everybody."
    You don't have to actually have to like Dylan to respect his authority and individuality as an artist. I find that with a lot of artists actually.

    People talk about Stern as if he changed his sound he'd be somehow better. The only thing that would happen is he would be less himself.

  36. #85

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    Quote Originally Posted by ruger9 View Post
    Hey Stern fans-

    If someone asked you, "where to START" with Stern.... what would you tell them? Keep in mind, your favorite Stern may not be the same answer as "best place to start" with Stern....

    Sort of like "if you don't like THIS Stern, then Stern just isn't your guy" lol
    I would start with "come to NY, and listen to him live at the 55 Bar." Live in a trio in a small venue is the essence of Mike Stern. It has never really been well captured on record. Even the tone that people here kvetch about is different in that setting. It doesn't sound like exaggerated chorus; it sounds like a big stereo sound (I know, I know, some people still don't like it, even at the 55 Bar...). "Standards (and other songs)" comes closest, though, so that's where I would tell someone to start.

    Anyway, one day in 1991, I see Mike Stern on the street, so I say "hey aren't you Mike Stern?" and we start talking. At that point, I'd seen him many times, with Miles, Jaco, in groups with Bob Berg and Dennis Chambers, Steps Ahead, and the 55 Bar. He was very friendly, and we talked about all the different stuff he'd done, and how none of it really reflected what he did with this trios at the 55 Bar. He said that his record deal was basically to write and record stuff that went in that heavy/fusion-y direction, but that left entirely to his own devices it wouldn't be the main thing he did. He then told me about the standards record he was working on, which I bought as soon as I saw it a few months later. Now, even though he no longer has a major-label deal pushing him in the fusion direction stylistically, that's still his bread and butter, and as much as the 55-Bar style is something unique, so is the energy in something like the gigs he does with Dennis Chambers.

    John
    Last edited by John A.; 10-22-2019 at 02:30 PM.

  37. #86

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    Thought you meant Bobby Timmons for a second... OK so the thing that's interesting to me about the whole Brecker Bros/Stern/Berg cohort is they were all bop language players working in fusion music. Sure they played the big 80's pentatonic licks (Brecker was just as influenced by rock guitarists as Stern) but they are so steeped in bop vocabulary it's seems wrong to me to compare them to the more rock oriented fusion players. They are New York guys.

    The Stern stuff with Miles is badass - Star People is great.

    If you want to listen to Stern the jazz standards guitarist, you are looking at more recent stuff. My favourite playing of his is what I heard at the 55 bar in 2017. Pure bop with electric instruments. Fantastic stuff, and that was the year of his injury.
    I just watched 2 interviews of his from that tour. I'm very interested. I'll see what I can find. And it doesn't have to be standards AT ALL- I'm all for taking the music where you want to take it. Stern has certainly done that. I think he just usually takes it "too far" for me. But I like the guy's personality, approach, and perspective so much, I really want to find some of his music I dig. I just haven't yet.


    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    People talk about Stern as if he changed his sound he'd be somehow better. The only thing that would happen is he would be less himself.
    I agree with that: with both his TONE and his STYLE, he is instantly recognizable. That's a major achievement for any artist.

  38. #87

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    Quote Originally Posted by John A. View Post
    I would start with "come to NY, and listen to him live at the 55 Bar." Live in a trio in a small venue is the essence of Mike Stern. It has never really been well captured on record.
    Well that's a shame. As I dig, I'm hearing alot about his 55 Bar stuff. Interestingly, Campilongo used to play there all the time.. still does occasionally. I wonder of the two have run into each other...

    Quote Originally Posted by John A. View Post
    "Standards (and other songs)" comes closest, though, so that's where I would tell someone to start.
    Thanks for that.

    And what you (he) said about his career being "pushed" in a certain direction explains alot, to my ears. I bet I'd dig the 55 Bar trio thing.

  39. #88

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    Quote Originally Posted by ruger9 View Post
    Well that's a shame. As I dig, I'm hearing alot about his 55 Bar stuff. Interestingly, Campilongo used to play there all the time.. still does occasionally. I wonder of the two have run into each other...
    It would be strange if they hadn't.

    The 55 bar is one of the best places on the planet. Esp after all the tourists go elsewhere and you have the place to yourself, the band, the awesome staff and one or two other die hard jazz obsessives.

  40. #89

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    Quote Originally Posted by John A. View Post
    I would start with "come to NY, and listen to him live at the 55 Bar." Live in a trio in a small venue is the essence of Mike Stern. It has never really been well captured on record. Even the tone that people here kvetch about is different in that setting. It doesn't sound like exaggerated chorus; it sounds like a big stereo sound (I know, I know, some people still don't like it, even at the 55 Bar...). "Standards (and other songs)" comes closest, though, so that's where I would tell someone to start.

    Anyway, one day in 1991, I see Mike Stern on the street, so I say "hey aren't you Mike Stern?" and we start talking. At that point, I'd seen him many times, with Miles, Jaco, in groups with Bob Berg and Dennis Chambers, Steps Ahead, and the 55 Bar. He was very friendly, and we talked about all the different stuff he'd done, and how none of it really reflected what he did with this trios at the 55 Bar. He said that his record deal was basically to write and record stuff that went in that heavy/fusion-y direction, but that left entirely to his own devices it wouldn't be the main thing he did. He then told me about the standards record he was working on, which I bought as soon as I saw it a few months later. Now, even though he no longer has a major-label deal pushing him in the fusion direction stylistically, that's still his bread and butter, and as much as the 55-Bar style is something unique, so is the energy in something like the gigs he does with Dennis Chambers.

    John
    It's funny how one gets typecast as a player. Even someone on the stellar level Mike is. Yeah his jazz trio playing knocked me - and the missus - out for its beauty, nuance and lightness of touch. I think he was relearning his technique at that point, not that he sounded constrained, but it added a little softness perhaps, having the pick glued on the way he does now. I never heard him play like that. And sure I love all the rocking out stuff he does. He was also singing a lot with the chord melody stuff he was playing, which sounded gorgeous.

  41. #90

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    Quote Originally Posted by ruger9 View Post
    I just watched 2 interviews of his from that tour. I'm very interested. I'll see what I can find. And it doesn't have to be standards AT ALL- I'm all for taking the music where you want to take it. Stern has certainly done that. I think he just usually takes it "too far" for me. But I like the guy's personality, approach, and perspective so much, I really want to find some of his music I dig. I just haven't yet.




    I agree with that: with both his TONE and his STYLE, he is instantly recognizable. That's a major achievement for any artist.
    The We Want Miles era band with Stern strikes as incontrovertibly a jazz group. I mean check this out:



    Listen to the whole thing. Yes it's electric instruments and it blends in rock textures and funk beats, but it swings, it's full of jazz harmonic and melodic "language," and the nature of the interactions between the players is jazz. You can easily hear the connection between the playing here and 1950s and 60s Miles. Someone here once wrote "jazz is not a 'what', it's a 'how'." Think of it that way, and the "what is jazz" mishegas tends to fall away. Also, to the people making this music the fine distinctions in labeling are a whole lot less important than they are to some of the people typing about it on the internet. Bear that in mind.

    John

  42. #91

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    It's funny how one gets typecast as a player. Even someone on the stellar level Mike is. Yeah his jazz trio playing knocked me - and the missus - out for its beauty, nuance and lightness of touch. I think he was relearning his technique at that point, not that he sounded constrained, but it added a little softness perhaps, having the pick glued on the way he does now. I never heard him play like that. And sure I love all the rocking out stuff he does. He was also singing a lot with the chord melody stuff he was playing, which sounded gorgeous.
    Calling him typecast might be overstating things a bit. I think this whole conversation of "it's not really jazz" or "great player but that tone ..." is limited to certain mainly online quarters. In the real world, he makes records, he composes, and he performs for an audience that likes his music, and he is esteemed by peers. I mean Peter Bernstein is not going "well, you know, he's not really jazz, and it would sound better if he didn't use so much chorus." Bernstein is just smiling and jamming. I also think maybe in Europe there's more weight given to these labels and categories. At least from what I've experienced in NY, different styles blend and jazz is a really big tent. Basically, if it's instrumental, and it's not classical, it's jazz as far as most people here are concerned. Anyway, enough soapbox. Great player, making great music. If it's not to some's liking, that's life. Listening to We Want Miles now, for the first time in long whole. Great. Friggin'. Record.

    John

  43. #92

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    Quote Originally Posted by John A. View Post
    The We Want Miles era band with Stern strikes as incontrovertibly a jazz group. I mean check this out:
    Yes it's electric instruments and it blends in rock textures and funk beats, but it swings, it's full of jazz harmonic and melodic "language," and the nature of the interactions between the players is jazz. Someone here once wrote "jazz is not a 'what', it's a 'how'." Think of it that way, and the "what is jazz" mishegas tends to fall away. Also, to the people making this music the fine distinctions in labeling are a whole lot less important than they are to some of the people typing about it on the internet. Bear that in mind.

    John
    With all due respect to jazz (I love jazz), a music isn't required to be jazz to have that kind of interaction between the players; and having that kind of interaction between the players doesn't automatically make it jazz. But yes- that video is jazz, if it's anything lol. Quite avant garde, imo. Was never a fan of that era of Miles.

  44. #93

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    Quote Originally Posted by John A. View Post
    Calling him typecast might be overstating things a bit. I think this whole conversation of "it's not really jazz" or "great player but that tone ..." is limited to certain mainly online quarters. In the real world, he makes records, he composes, and he performs for an audience that likes his music, and he is esteemed by peers. I mean Peter Bernstein is not going "well, you know, he's not really jazz, and it would sound better if he didn't use so much chorus." Bernstein is just smiling and jamming. I also think maybe in Europe there's more weight given to these labels and categories. At least from what I've experienced in NY, different styles blend and jazz is a really big tent. Basically, if it's instrumental, and it's not classical, it's jazz as far as most people here are concerned. Anyway, enough soapbox. Great player, making great music. If it's not to some's liking, that's life. Listening to We Want Miles now, for the first time in long whole. Great. Friggin'. Record.

    John
    I don't care if Mike "is jazz" or not. And that goes for ALL players. I either like something, or I don't (of course with many shades of grey in-between). Would *I* call Mike jazz? IDK... I think I'd just call him "Mike Stern". But then I wouldn't call Frisell jazz either, and Campilongo only skirts those edges, imo.... he's another one who has his own tone, touch, and style- instantly recognizable. He's just "Jim Campilongo". He could be playing something avant garde, a pretty acoustic piece, some sweet melodic chord melody, or a hillbilly jazz piece.

    I mean, really- even jazz players "play a blues". What that means to them may not be the same thing it means to BB King, but who cares? SRV's Riviera Paradise is much more Kenny Burrell than it is Albert King... is it jazz? Is it blues? Just because he's a blues rock GUY doesn't mean that piece doesn't qualify as jazz. How about Buchanan's "Soliloquy"? And he's another one: jazz player? Blues player? Or just ROY BUCHANAN?

  45. #94

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    I’m not a massive fusion fan (I do like some stuff e.g. Bitches Brew though), but I really like the way Miles re-did ‘My Man’s Gone Now’. Stern has a solo on this.


  46. #95

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    Quote Originally Posted by ruger9 View Post
    I don't care if Mike "is jazz" or not. And that goes for ALL players. I either like something, or I don't (of course with many shades of grey in-between). Would *I* call Mike jazz? IDK... I think I'd just call him "Mike Stern". But then I wouldn't call Frisell jazz either, and Campilongo only skirts those edges, imo.... he's another one who has his own tone, touch, and style- instantly recognizable. He's just "Jim Campilongo". He could be playing something avant garde, a pretty acoustic piece, some sweet melodic chord melody, or a hillbilly jazz piece.

    I mean, really- even jazz players "play a blues". What that means to them may not be the same thing it means to BB King, but who cares? SRV's Riviera Paradise is much more Kenny Burrell than it is Albert King... is it jazz? Is it blues? Just because he's a blues rock GUY doesn't mean that piece doesn't qualify as jazz. How about Buchanan's "Soliloquy"? And he's another one: jazz player? Blues player? Or just ROY BUCHANAN?
    Hmm. It’s almost like great musicians don’t give a shit.

  47. #96

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    Hmm. It’s almost like great musicians don’t give a shit.

    They don't. And I'm no great musician, but I don't either

  48. #97

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    I don’t know much of Mike Stern’s output, in fact my main exposure to him was on those Miles records in the 80s. But as soon as I heard him, I thought he must come from a jazz background, because in amongst the rock licks, he kept playing really hip flowing bebop lines. Really that was what stood out about his playing to me. You didn’t hear Scofield playing lines like that.

  49. #98

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    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop View Post
    I don’t know much of Mike Stern’s output, in fact my main exposure to him was on those Miles records in the 80s. But as soon as I heard him, I thought he must come from a jazz background, because in amongst the rock licks, he kept playing really hip flowing bebop lines. Really that was what stood out about his playing to me. You didn’t hear Scofield playing lines like that.
    Actually, Mike has said he was a blues and rock guy. Exposed to jazz at an early age (his mom's records). He became interested in playing jazz by 17 years old, said he had a hard time at first and "had to study"... don't really know how long he was a "blues and rock guy" before making the decision that jazz was his final direction.

  50. #99

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    Quote Originally Posted by ruger9 View Post
    I don't care if Mike "is jazz" or not. And that goes for ALL players. I either like something, or I don't (of course with many shades of grey in-between). Would *I* call Mike jazz? IDK... I think I'd just call him "Mike Stern". But then I wouldn't call Frisell jazz either, and Campilongo only skirts those edges, imo.... he's another one who has his own tone, touch, and style- instantly recognizable. He's just "Jim Campilongo". He could be playing something avant garde, a pretty acoustic piece, some sweet melodic chord melody, or a hillbilly jazz piece.

    I mean, really- even jazz players "play a blues". What that means to them may not be the same thing it means to BB King, but who cares? SRV's Riviera Paradise is much more Kenny Burrell than it is Albert King... is it jazz? Is it blues? Just because he's a blues rock GUY doesn't mean that piece doesn't qualify as jazz. How about Buchanan's "Soliloquy"? And he's another one: jazz player? Blues player? Or just ROY BUCHANAN?
    Labels are not a value judgement and I don't care about them. They are a way to describe music and give people a frame of reference for what something sounds like when talking about music. But some labels are more clearly defined and agreed upon than others. And to the extent that they apply to people (as opposed to music), that really depends on the degree to which people stick to music that fits the label I think jazz is a good description of Stern, somewhat less good for Frisell because he's more eclectic, but still pretty good; not a good description of either Buchannan or Campilongo overall, even though they may do some music that sounds as much like jazz as anything else.

    John

  51. #100

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