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9/25/12 10:44 AM
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hugomma
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Edited: 09/25/12 10:48 AM
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ttt for later.  Weird editing issues.
9/26/12 1:41 AM
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Ali
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Stern, guesting with John McLaughlin. Doing a Miles tune.And totally pwning.



One extra point for spotting the "Third Stone From the Sun" quote.
9/27/12 9:40 PM
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hugomma
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Just listened to "4 Generations of Miles/There is No Greater Love".  God I love what he does to standards.  Stern starts of so melodic, then all of the sudden, you get those chordal licks at 4:20 that lead into that high octane lick at 4:24.  And yeah, the understated comping he does for Ron Carter's solo...Jim Hall would be proud.

BTW, Ron Carter's coming to Boulder at the end of Oct.  It's on a Sunday night, which sucks, cause my wife will probably have to stay home with our son.  Even if I go by myself, as far as I'm concerned, this is a must-see.

9/27/12 10:03 PM
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hugomma
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Ali - Theme here is maybe a bit to "contempo-bop" (?) but the solos are all vicious. Looking at Stern's face, I interpret that grin to be him still, even after Miles, just thinking "ohmygod, Micheal freakin' Brecker is playing one of my tunes!"

Stern's solo has that "flow" jazz/rock transition thing. Gets pretty damn rock-ish perfectly. Then Brecker is... well, he's the boss.

 

Oh my fuckin' god...not really much else to say about that, is there?  Brecker's solo after what Stern does is like pouring gasoline on someone who's getting roasted by a flame thrower.  Brecker's sound & phrasing from that MIDI horn thingy at 7:43 reminds me of  George Duke the live "Inca Roads" solo.  And Stern's percussive picking doubling the melody reminds me of Ruth Underwood. 

 

9/28/12 8:46 PM
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hugomma
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Ali - A class. In the "part 2" interview jman posted, Stern talks about implying harmonies by playing "chord tones" without playing the chords -- something he worked on with Bach's violin Sonatas & Partitas, where it's not a chord instrument but the harmonies are outlined or just implied in a variety of ways. Here he gives more a jazz guitar lesson, rather than just mention it. And it's all Autumn Leaves again. One thing I love about this guy... he disappeared from Miles' band and altogether for something like 10 years (and I think it was a bad substance abuse problem). But he came back and was just so happy to work. And he works and works and works. So he gets better.


4:43 - "Okay now I'll just play".  Honestly, he made those chord tones sound more like music & less like  technical exercies.  But when he opens up, it's like Moses parting the Red Sea.  Stern is simply amazing.

From 6:46-7:03...I think calling what he did there "licks" would be doing inaccurate and incorrect.  That was spontaneous composition at it's finest, again working around the chord tones he talked about with the audience.  My wife just walked by and said "that sounded cool".  Yeah darling, it sure did...

I love the reverence these jazz rock fusion have for standards.  There's so much beauty and musicality in just about anything you'd find in a Real Book. 

The other that got me was Stern himself.  The more I hear Stern play & talk, the more I like him.  He seems genuinely grateful that he is where he's at musically and in his life.  It shows in his playing and his demeanor. 

9/28/12 8:55 PM
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hugomma
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Ali - Doing Hendrix' Little Wing. I never knew this happened, until this morning. Looks to be at some university jazz band/class type thing.

The original uploader wrote this in the comments:

I really apologize for the very bad quality of this video (my mother is not the best with a digital camera in her hands), but the performance was so wonderful that I decided to share it with you so you can appreciate at least the audio. Sorry for the headache or sickness we might have caused to you, guys ;-) Lalla & mum




Loved the volume swells in the beginning, & how Sterned used Jimi's original solo as a lanuching point for his own ideas.  It's almost like he treated it like the head of a standard.

9/28/12 9:01 PM
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hugomma
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Ali - "Tipatina's". On what is nominally an instructional video, but is more a portrait with a couple of minor tips. This is one of those fusion/funk things he does so well. And it's about as well as a guitar can be played.


There he goes again, with turning standard blues rock licks into something that would make Coltrane himself pround.

If I could play like anyone, I think it'd be Mike Stern, although I'd rather do it using Scott Henderson's gear :-)

9/28/12 9:19 PM
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hugomma
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jman - Wow found this, very nice by keyboardist Jens Johansson (Yngwie, etc) with Mike Stern 3:50 and Shawn Lane 5:08. Shawn kicks some serious ass on this one playing some of the nicest stuff I think I've ever heard from Lane:


I know this is a Stern thread, but goddamn Shawn Lane stole the show on that one.  And this is coming from someone who doesn't always love Shawn Lane's material.  I agree, that's some of the best Lane I've ever heard.  Dare I say he made Stern the beta?

9/28/12 9:35 PM
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hugomma
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Ali - This isn't necessarily the first thing I'd put on a Pat Martino thread. But since this is a Mike Stern thread, let's just go for it. From his record "All Sides Now", which is a record of Pat Martino + another hotshot guitarist for each track. This one has Mike Stern. "Outrider".


Not the best I've heard from either guy, but still pretty damn good.

9/28/12 9:51 PM
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hugomma
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Ali - Stern, guesting with John McLaughlin. Doing a Miles tune.And totally pwning.



One extra point for spotting the "Third Stone From the Sun" quote.

 

5:04 - "Third Stone...", and again at 7:12 :-)

That was very cool.  This is just IMHO, but I felt like Stern was doing is usual blues rock/line combo thing (with a big empathis on blues rock licks here), while MacLaughlin was playing more shred-style patterns.

 

9/28/12 10:53 PM
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Ali
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Hugo, you have amazing ears. I think you're a bit of a genius, really. Much more than I can hope to be. I mean it, with the ears. Your comment on Stern "using" Jimi's original solo as a "head arrangemenent" as something to improv off is dead on. And I didn't write it because I didn't think of it. I do hear it, but that's 'cause you wrote it.

On Shawn Lane: what a freak, in terms of just sheer neural patterning, what an "athlete" of the fretboard. No one like him. Then, a complete musical genius. Supposedly he read several books a week, too. So genius on all kinds of levels. What you think of his taste, or whether he did his best work under his own direction or others', is a matter of debate. I think Stern did some things better because they came harder to him; but certainly Lane's chops came easier -- to him than Stern and just about anyone else. And there's the whole "tone" conversation. I love Shawn's taste, there. I'll stop now because it's not a competition. Most of my favorite Shawn material was with Hellborg, because I think that added some structure he needed. But I'm not sure. I'll shut about my betters, I guess. Or not, if I'm just going to praise.

And there are some guys I (very personally and idiosyncratically) like more than either one. Which you (Hugo) know already. And there are some guys whose chops and ears I'd take fist, took if a mad scientist were going to transfer them magically. (But Shawn is just flat out impossible to beat in that regard, really.... so it's a versatility decision at some point).

McLaughlin is the granddaddy. Did a bunch of my very favorite guitar records, and was doing this jazz/rock thing, with FULL appreciation of both, before almost anybody. (Maye Coryell got there first... but only by months. And McLaughlin did it a little better, by a hair. IMO, of course. IMVVVHO).

Whatever you think of Stern's "tone" -- and of course there's more than one, but they all have something "his" about them unless they're completely boring -- it's "his". McLaughlin's only knock, near as I can tell, is that he changes it up enough that he's not always mining "his" one identifiable sound. (Guitarist Steve Topping said this, dissing McLaughlin while praising Holdsworth, in contrast). So the knock on McLaughlin is that he's... too versatile??? WTF???

I'm typing too much. But of course I tend to do that. I have things to say about.. Martino and Benson, and McLaughlin and Coryell, and Holdsworth and Connors, and Stern and Gambale and Henderson, and Zappa and Keneally, and Vai and.... and Frisell and Scofield and Metheny and DiIorio and Goodrick and Abercrombie and...

/> And Bern freakin' Nix. And Vernon Reid and James Blood Ulmer. And Ronnie Drayton.

OK, I'll stop.

And Breau and DeGruy. And Tommy Crook (thanks Hillbilly!) and Tuck Andress. And Towner. No really, I have to stop.

And Pete fuckin' COSEY. who gets his own line.

And Doran. And Schoeppach/Shepik, Cardenas, Rosenwinkel, Muthspiel, Bro. (That's Jakob Bro, for those of you who haven't been paying attention to the quieter types).

And I could go on a bit. Really I could. (Kreisberg. Lund... for starters).

To me, Frisell is my favorite musician of the bunch. Cline is way up there. And there are still others. All deserving of their own essays.

I could write MY essays on most of them. And not all -- I really couldn't write on, say, Bro. Or Monder. And Monder is they guy whose abilities I would pick if a genie would give just one. Not my favorite music, though. So this is complicated.

I'm glad you guys dig the Stern. I'll shut up again. For a minute. After I mention Eddie Hazel. And Mike Hampton.
9/28/12 11:04 PM
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Ali
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Sorry for typing so much. One of the points I tried to make is that some of those guys deserve LONG essays. And I'm the last guy to write more than a few words about some of them. Like... Monder? Ben freaking MONDER???? I can't say much. I don't even listen much. He's the one dude.. where if you could... Hmmmm. How to say this?

In some old Batman episode, the Joker, for some reason, had to get into a surfing contest with Batman. And he cheated. He had some scientific device that gave him someobody else's chops. So he kidnapped the world's best surfer dude. And put him on the machine and transferred his skills. The machine was labelled the "surfing Ability and Experience TRANSFEROMETER".

If I were to get a wish to take over someone else's ability and experience on guitar? Msybe Shawn. But probably Ben Monder.

And I like lots of other people for listening, more.
9/28/12 11:11 PM
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Ali
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I didn't mention Scott McGill. Who sounds bizarre. And might also be Shawn's equal for sheer chops. Or Alex Masi. Same thing. But I'm not in love with either of theirs' music, mostly. (On occasion I am). And Monder is the guy who can do all that but finger like Breau and Emmanuel and like that classical French dude, whatsisname, TOO. Roalnd Dyens (HOLY CHIT Roland Dyens, is the French dude...). And I'm not in love with his music (Monder's) mostly either. *(On occasion I am). And he was student of the insanely great John Stowell. (So while we're talking like that, about teachers: Jon Damian, Dale Bruning, Jerry Hahn... did I say Joe DiOria already?...)

You gnome sane? Again? I mean... This really COULD go on....

And I didn't mention Buckethead. Or our very own Jimmy Williams (who is blushing if he's read this far but HOLYCHIT Jimmy can play)....
and a dozen other guys (or Gals... Mimi FOX??? Jennifer Batten? Ana Vidovic??? (OK that's cheating because she's strictly classical. But since I mentioned Dyens, and since she's hotl too... ) ... (I'm running low, but I'm NOT done...) gals who scare the crap out of me.


And I didn't even pretend to list straight up rock guys who tear my head off. ANOTHER list.

Too much. Words get old. Music stays new. The good stuff. ...

"Music is the best." Sez Frank. And he should know.
9/30/12 3:50 AM
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jman
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Wow just checked out Ben Mondder...AWESOME! I love his harmonic concepts, very classically influenced with is voice leading and note choices (possibly influenced by his classical guitar playing technique?). For whatever reason, I've never had a true feel for jazz harmony, I like it, but I can't get into is much as I can with classical harmony and voice leading.

Thanks for the compliment, but at this point I consider myself a good musician that happens to play the guitar. I'm struggling a lot right now (physicallly, technically and improvisationally) trying to get to the next level where I'd feel comfortable playing and improvising with "the pros".

Back on topic, here's Stern with one of my favorite drummers Dave Weckyl and bassist Tom Kennedy (both from my hometown St. Louis!):

9/30/12 4:08 AM
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Ali
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Monder does that solo thing and he writes like Bartok. Plays classical (or like classical) on a hollow body electric. Like on the Orbits solo video, for one. A live fragment is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wZ57Ns-WRv0 . Or the studio record version (no vid) is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZIULudyjjr4 -- where it gets more elaborate.

Then he does something like what's on the "Ben Monder Trio 2" video. Here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A6DS03CM2uI&feature=relmfu Where it starts slow and very out, goes to a weird classical/bebop mix, and at about 3:00 in he mixes up single note runs, does hybrid picking, shreds and does some of the most ridiculous sweep picking things you'll ever hear. Just range, and complete mastery across ALL of it. And his sensibility and sound are strangely insular (to me) so I don't always get emotionally involved the way I do with some others. But ... what a freakishly great player and composer. And... But...

Thanks, Jimmy, for getting the thread back on track. And all I can say about that is: Geez Mike Stern is beautiful.

And youtube has pretty much the entirety of the two shows at Paris' New Morning (one with Weckl and Kennedy, the other with Chambers and Bona). I paid real money for those DVDs when they came out!
10/1/12 2:01 PM
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hugomma
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Awe shucks...thanks Ali.  A bit of a genious?  I'm probably closer to being a bit of a tard.  Maybe a little bit of an idiot savant, with a lot more idiot than savant.

Shawn Lane was a freak of nature (RIP) and I wish he was still here.  I didn't always enjoy his music, but I always apprecaited what he did and what he meant to other muscians, particularly guitarist.  And let's not forget the dude could shred the keyboards as well.  Like our guy Kenally, but with significantly more technical ability.  I'm one of those guys that prefer his work on other people's albums, particularly the stuff he did with Hellborg.  I'm was tempted to post some stuff from YouTube, but I don't want Jimmy to beat my ass :-)

I have the same problem with much of Lane's material that I have with Holdsworth: it goes by so fast sometimes, it's easy to miss out on his ideas.  And it's not like either guy has an abundence of classic albums like Bitche's Brew, Overnight Sensation, Strange Meeting, or The Inner Mounting Flame.  That never happens when I listen to speedsters like Coltrane of Diz (although I don't listen to much Diz, but everytime I have his ideas always come through).  Lane & Holdsworth get by me more often that I'd like to admit.  I know, I know - not a fair comparison, but Coltrane & Diz played FAST & their shit STICKS.  

And I have lots of love & affection for McLaughlin.  How many classic albums has he been involved with - both as a sideman & a leader?!?  It was just weird listening to him with Stern.  Like Al Di Meola, I hear more echos of his playing in alternate picking shred miesters like Zakk Wylde or Paul Gilbert than post-modern modal boppers like Stern or Frisell.  I actully hear more Jim Hall in Frisell, Cline, & Stern that that I hear McLaughlin.

Granted, Johnny Mac was the one of first distorted jazz rocker most people ever heard, & what he does with Indian/Flamenco/World is way more advanced than anyone most could comprehend (unless you're Jimmy Williams :-), but I'm not hearing the angular inventervallic lines or the melodies in that clip.  What I heard were crazy flamenco style licks that blew my head off, but not so much line creation or melodic development.  

Funny enough, on the later/more recent videos, I noticed Stern's tone was less harsh.  And wouldn't you know it - he's using Fender amps - either Twins or Deluxes?  Hard to tell.  Now if he can just dial that chours down to like Andy Summers/Alex Lifeson levels :-)

Seriously, the more I listen, the less I care about his gear.  I love Stern's playing.  For me, it's like seeing a distant relative you have childhood memories of, only to realize how special that person actually was.  I guess the 60's/70's era electric Miles, Zappa, & 90's ear stoner rock had me by the short & curlies.

Ali, I agree - all those guys deserve long essays with multiple clips and endless discussions.  And I have no doubt we'll eventually hit on all of them :-)

10/1/12 10:26 PM
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jman
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The same thing happens with me with Holdsworth and Lane. I'm not sure why I can get into Guthrie Govan (who can play 95% as fast as those two guys) but most of the Holdsworth and Lane goes over my head. Hell I can only listen to jazz for about 20 minutes before I get bored and my mind starts to wander.

That's one thing I like about Stern's stuff, he seems to always keep things close to a rock groove, or tone center or bepop just long enough for my simpleton ears. I guess I have musical ADD or something.
10/2/12 12:19 AM
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Ali
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I didn't want to write all that critique of Lane on the thread where I posted his last performance, because... I think that thing is just beautiful and mindblowing and human and soulful and... nitpicking it apart was the last thing on my mind. I love chunks of what he did, mostly with Hellborg (and then the occasional cover he did, more than anything) and otherwise only play his stuff when I'm trying to scare some other guitar player. Or shut somebody up about how "fast" someone is. So he's not my favorite. Except for the rare tune where he is.

I understand the idea that both Lane and Holdsworth can be tough to listen to at length. (I've seen Holdsworth live a bunch, and he's been terrible sometimes; but again, there are times the music just takes over, and it's like some pure stream... and it is so freaking glorious I can't stand it.) On recordings, both of them are guys that make me pick my spots, for sure.

I'm not sure what gets called "fusion" and what's just jazz sometimes. Stern obviously plays A LOT of rock in his music, but... to me he's a jazz guy. That's the tradition he came up in, professionally; it's who he plays with, it's a huge part of his education, clearly. He doesn't sound like a child of that first generation of Coryell/McLaughlin/Return to Forever/Weather Report type stuff the way, say, Henderson does. Slickness is not a problem for him. (And no one has greater admiration for Henderson than I, especially not after the last time I saw him... but some of the records are too damn slick and on occasion given to cliche).

I don't like most of Metheny at all, either, for different reasons than "too fast" etc. But when he wants to, he has DiMeola speed, at least. And I think he's a really intelligent musician along with the monster chops. Every once in a while I love what he does. He just has a taste for smoove bullshit and some starbuck's brazilian thing going on too much. And I can't stand the sound of Lyle Mays' electric keyboards (great a musician as HE is). But the generation of guys who came up in the late 70s and early 80s... there was Metheny and Frisell and Scofield as "the big 3" in terms of making noise in the jazz world. I'm particularly partial to Frisell as the most original and most moving of the bunch (to me). I think he did two of the best "power trio" records since Band of Gypsys. Though they're... jazz, I guess. I love a lot of Scofield. When he's not doing crossover. His best 5 or 6 records are in frequent rotation at my place. And I like only a very little of Metheny. But hell, I like large swathes of the older ECM guys, too. Terje Rypdal. John Abercrombie. To me, Frisell and Sco are the least insular, working their private little virtuosity world, of any of them.

Lane? He's a rock guy, to me. Who does "fusion". Just like Frisell is a jazz guy who does. Dif'rent worlds behind them. And I dunno, my favorite rock guys these days are Zappa (still) who has done dozens of crappy records, too; just when he hits it, he's special. And Keneally. Heard him about 25 different contexts just doing things that left my mouth hanging open and put tears in my eyes.

Anyway I could go on. I won't. I type to freaking much. My favorite guys are the jazz guys, at least to my way of slicing and dicing them. All of whom were very changed by the existence of Hendrix. So they're all "fusion" in some sense. Stern to me is the fourth, along with the Metheny/Sco/Frisell triumvirate. And I love him to death. Metheny somehow sold the most records (by a BIG margin) while being the least consistently interesting.

And the next generation of guys (which includes Monder, and -- yes, even -- Rosenwinkel... ) impress the hell out of me. And on occasion really move me, too.

I've heard my favorites be really boring, as well. Sometimes. First Stern show I saw (with Goines and Weckl) was boring. Next one I saw was transcendentally uplifting. Music just does that sometimes. Great players and composers take chances, and sometimes they connect and sometimes they don't. I'll trust my odds with those who have made life better, who have straightened out my priorities about love and honor and all that stuff. Because music can do that. Sorry if it sounds corny. But my world gets small, and I get self-absorbed, and I think about petty shit and .... all that. And music can really turn it around. Some of these guitarists in particular have done that with some consistency. I'll take my chances on the boring shows with those guys.
10/2/12 12:57 AM
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hugomma
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Ali - I didn't want to write all that critique of Lane on the thread where I posted his last performance, because... I think that thing is just beautiful and mindblowing and human and soulful and... nitpicking it apart was the last thing on my mind. I love chunks of what he did, mostly with Hellborg (and then the occasional cover he did, more than anything) and otherwise only play his stuff when I'm trying to scare some other guitar player. Or shut somebody up about how "fast" someone is. So he's not my favorite. Except for the rare tune where he is.

I understand the idea that both Lane and Holdsworth can be tough to listen to at length. (I've seen Holdsworth live a bunch, and he's been terrible sometimes; but again, there are times the music just takes over, and it's like some pure stream... and it is so freaking glorious I can't stand it.) On recordings, both of them are guys that make me pick my spots, for sure.

I'm not sure what gets called "fusion" and what's just jazz sometimes. Stern obviously plays A LOT of rock in his music, but... to me he's a jazz guy. That's the tradition he came up in, professionally; it's who he plays with, it's a huge part of his education, clearly. He doesn't sound like a child of that first generation of Coryell/McLaughlin/Return to Forever/Weather Report type stuff the way, say, Henderson does. Slickness is not a problem for him. (And no one has greater admiration for Henderson than I, especially not after the last time I saw him... but some of the records are too damn slick and on occasion given to cliche).

I don't like most of Metheny at all, either, for different reasons than "too fast" etc. But when he wants to, he has DiMeola speed, at least. And I think he's a really intelligent musician along with the monster chops. Every once in a while I love what he does. He just has a taste for smoove bullshit and some starbuck's brazilian thing going on too much. And I can't stand the sound of Lyle Mays' electric keyboards (great a musician as HE is). But the generation of guys who came up in the late 70s and early 80s... there was Metheny and Frisell and Scofield as "the big 3" in terms of making noise in the jazz world. I'm particularly partial to Frisell as the most original and most moving of the bunch (to me). I think he did two of the best "power trio" records since Band of Gypsys. Though they're... jazz, I guess. I love a lot of Scofield. When he's not doing crossover. His best 5 or 6 records are in frequent rotation at my place. And I like only a very little of Metheny. But hell, I like large swathes of the older ECM guys, too. Terje Rypdal. John Abercrombie. To me, Frisell and Sco are the least insular, working their private little virtuosity world, of any of them.

Lane? He's a rock guy, to me. Who does "fusion". Just like Frisell is a jazz guy who does. Dif'rent worlds behind them. And I dunno, my favorite rock guys these days are Zappa (still) who has done dozens of crappy records, too; just when he hits it, he's special. And Keneally. Heard him about 25 different contexts just doing things that left my mouth hanging open and put tears in my eyes.

Anyway I could go on. I won't. I type to freaking much. My favorite guys are the jazz guys, at least to my way of slicing and dicing them. All of whom were very changed by the existence of Hendrix. So they're all "fusion" in some sense. Stern to me is the fourth, along with the Metheny/Sco/Frisell triumvirate. And I love him to death. Metheny somehow sold the most records (by a BIG margin) while being the least consistently interesting.

And the next generation of guys (which includes Monder, and -- yes, even -- Rosenwinkel... ) impress the hell out of me. And on occasion really move me, too.

I've heard my favorites be really boring, as well. Sometimes. First Stern show I saw (with Goines and Weckl) was boring. Next one I saw was transcendentally uplifting. Music just does that sometimes. Great players and composers take chances, and sometimes they connect and sometimes they don't. I'll trust my odds with those who have made life better, who have straightened out my priorities about love and honor and all that stuff. Because music can do that. Sorry if it sounds corny. But my world gets small, and I get self-absorbed, and I think about petty shit and .... all that. And music can really turn it around. Some of these guitarists in particular have done that with some consistency. I'll take my chances on the boring shows with those guys.

On my way to bed, still beat, but had to check what you wrote.  Once again, you managed to put into words what was going on in my head better than I could.  I agree with just about everything you wrote.  Your breakdown of different eras, backgrounds, etc...It reminds me of when you broke down free jazz in a language I could easily understand.  You filled in the gaps to a damn good Wiki article & gave me a complete picture of the genre.

As for Methney, the only think I've heard that I've ever that I really liked was "Bright Sized Life" - everything else, blah.  I know there's more good stuff out there, but I've heard so much I could stand that I never cared enough to explore.  Just dull, boring, adult contempo stuff that Sting fans would think is great.  Remember how I complained about Sco's tone?  I think it was actually Methney on "I Can See Your House..." that made me think that, cause nothing else I've heard from him gave me that impression.

Listening to Lane's "Aga of the Ladies" right now.  Wow - moving is right.  9:30 into it, & it reminds me of somewhere between MacLaughin's more interesting Indian influenced stuff, & in a weird way, Frisell. 

Just over the 10 min mark and the distortion is on, but he's more restrained than I'm used to hearing.  Not the hyper fast video game on acid sound, but beautiful, transcendental melodies and ideas.  This is beyond face-melting.  This is that kind of Trane/Diz/electric Miles thing that I'm talking about: beyond notes, licks, etc...just pure transcendence.

THIS is the direction he was going in?  Did he know on some level this was it?  It's heartbreaking to think he died right after this performance.  RIP Shawn Lane.      

4/20/13 6:11 PM
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Ali
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Edited: 04/20/13 6:16 PM
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I just saw this on youtube today, so reviving Mike Stern thread. This tune is "KT" which was named for the drummer on the studio version, Kim Thompson. In the liner notes he addresses something to Dennis Chambers along the lines of how much better looking Kim is than he. But this live one has Dave Weckl, about whom.... the guy's a machine. For better and worse, but he ends up kicking my ass just when I'm trying hardest not to like him! Tom Kennedy on bass. What makes this special to my ears, though, is guest Didier Lockwood on violin. Old bandmate of Stern's from Billy Cobham days, and a really special addition. Stern live is still mindbending to me. I like the record ok (this is from "Who Let The Cats Out" I believe). But the versions on that, as with many of the later records, tend to sound more pop, or more smooth. Live is the thing.

4/21/13 4:56 PM
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hugomma
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Ali - I just saw this on youtube today, so reviving Mike Stern thread. This tune is "KT" which was named for the drummer on the studio version, Kim Thompson. In the liner notes he addresses something to Dennis Chambers along the lines of how much better looking Kim is than he. But this live one has Dave Weckl, about whom.... the guy's a machine. For better and worse, but he ends up kicking my ass just when I'm trying hardest not to like him! Tom Kennedy on bass. What makes this special to my ears, though, is guest Didier Lockwood on violin. Old bandmate of Stern's from Billy Cobham days, and a really special addition. Stern live is still mindbending to me. I like the record ok (this is from "Who Let The Cats Out" I believe). But the versions on that, as with many of the later records, tend to sound more pop, or more smooth. Live is the thing.


Lockwood was great.  The beginning reminded me of a more avant direction Frisell or Cline would go in with a violinist.  Although it didn't end up going that route, it was still cool, & I'd love to hear Stern in a more avant setting with Lockwood.

4/21/13 5:33 PM
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Ali
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Edited: 04/21/13 7:07 PM
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Stern does these little volume swells and bird sounds, very "Frisell-y", in the intro. We've head that before on this thread... but yeah, then it goes into something more conventional for him.

His solo starting at around 3:10 is in two parts. First that whole lyrical/ballad thing, then this flow into his more rock tone, more distortion, at 4:36 or so is just classic Stern. Builds up the excitement level really nicely. And Lockwood just kicks it up from there when it transitions to violin at 5:54. Heavy tone on that little thing.

I like the tune as a whole -- Stern writes really good music -- or, alternatively, even when it's not my favorite thing, he's really good at writing music. He's logical and groovy, and has an excellent sense of pace and dynamics overall. But yeah, it's not that "avant" setting you want, usually. He's such a crazy good improviser that he can shine in that setting, too, but it's not what he writes most of the time.

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