It’s not too early to think about 2004 is it? Hope not, because January 13 will see the release of These Times, the ESC Records debut of Mike Stern.
The album will see the three-time Grammy-nominated guitarist joining forces with his former and fellow Miles Davis sideman, saxophonist Kenny Garrett, as well as with drummer Vinnie Colaiuta and a slew of bassists, including Will Lee, Richard Bona and Victor Wooten.
Though the new record does seem to show an increased focus on instrumental compositions, These Times picks up one thing where 2001’s Grammy-nominated Voices left off, with Stern once again weaving his expressive melodies around the ethereal vocal contributions of Voices alumnus Elizabeth Kontomanou. The record also sees a guest appearance from Béla Fleck, who adds his banjo to the CD’s title track.
Stern, a former student under both Pat Metheny and Mick Goodrick, has brought his virtuoso experimental guitar work to an eclectic assortment of musicians over the years, including a tenure with seminal jazz-rockers Blood, Sweat and Tears. But it was his contributions to Miles Davis’ early 80s recordings, including Man With the Horn, We Want Miles and Star People, that quickly made a name for Stern. He recently participated in the collective album 4 Generations of Miles (Chesky) with Ron Carter, George Coleman and Jimmy Cobb.
For more information on Mike Stern visit his Web site www.mikestern.org.