Mike Stern: All Over The Place

So, is the title referring to the master guitarists natural ADD, the fact that he tours like a hound, or that the songs here reflect all of the different moods and genres that have made him so popular? My guess is the latter, as he mixes and matches his signature styles of delta blues, hard rocking boppers, mystical African and evocative ballads as if he were giving a 1st and 2nd set at Catalina’s Bar and Grill. His chops are on full display on “OCD” wit Kenny Garrett, Dave Holland, Al Foster and Jim Beard, as well as “Half Way Home” with Victor Wooten, Beard and Lionel Cordew. My money’s always on the softer side, which displays Stern’s writing skills as well. Richard Bona’s vocals on “Cameroon” and “Light” is pure graciousness, while Esperanza Spalding waxes eloquence on “As Far As We Know.” This album feels like a summary of what Stern’s been accomplishing the past few years. Maybe it’s his way of telling us he’s ready to try some new horizons and sounds. That could be refreshing for all concerned.

Heads Up Records


Leave a Reply