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Mike Stern - These Times

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by Norwegianwood, May 23, 2005.

  1. Saw Mike Stern live last week, and it was such a blast.
    He really impressed me. Good playing, lots of energy and he never repeated himself. The rest of the band was not that good, though. But Chris Minh Doky impressed me on electric upright. His solo spot was stellar, and his quoting of Jaco and Jimi turned out to be quite cool. I didn't like his work on electric bass so much, though. Kim Thompson did an OK job on drums, but was nothing special. Her solos sometimes was a little bit too way out of context. (Or however you spell that darn word!) Bob Franceschini was by far not the best sax-player I've heard. Dunno why, just didn't like him at all :)

    Anyway, I got a signed copy of his newest record These Times. And it's just fantastic. Bona puts a remarkable stamp on it and it's just for the good. The whole vibe of it is incredible. Also some other stellar bass work by Will Lee and Victor Wooten. You got to check out this record, it's one of the best I've heard in a long long time...
  2. Lackey


    May 10, 2002
    Los Angeles
    I've got Voices and have heard These Times quite a bit, and I have to say I'm really not impressed with Stern. Bona sounds great as usual, but the overall quality of the songs is IMO forgetable. Compared to Bona, Metheny, DiMeola, and McLaughlin, he seems to have no signature style (other than his guitar tone). Perhaps part of the problem is the huge cast of musicians on these records - and they're not even doing much.

    Not to mention his guitar tone! Geez, antiquely awful! (please don't kill me, I hate Scofield's tone as well! Wait - this is a bass site, who cares?)

    But, I'm very glad you enjoy These Times Norwegianwood! I know I'm probably in the minority here of haters!
  3. I like Stern but I have to agree that his tone kind of sucks in that 80s chorus kind of way. I'll have to check this new one out.
  4. Well, what can I say, you are pretty much just wrong....

  5. Stern is a great player and judging by the company he keeps, he must be doing something right.
  6. Garey

    Garey Supporting Member Commercial User

    Apr 23, 2003
    Northern California
    Artist Relations/Product Specialist: Mesa Boogie
    Stern came down to Myrtle Beach, SC this year for Bass At The Beach 2005......wow, what a player! He did a clinic, then a 3 hour show later that night. Gregg Bissonette held down the drum chair, and Stern had the bass chair rotating between Victor, Steve Bailey, and Mike Pope.....again, wow. Its amazing that Stern made it through his hard times and is still able to play....and what a show he put on.

    As for his tone....yeah, its a bit chorused out. But Stern said that he was shooting for an airy tone, whereas the guitar is usually more percussive. I think he truly shines in a live situation....

    Aloha, Garey
  7. oversoul

    oversoul fretless by fate

    Feb 16, 2004
    Funny thing bumping into this thread, I bought this CD a while back, having no prior knowledge of Mike sterns work, while I like the CD, I must agree with previous statements that Stern kinda gets buried up in his own album, by the exceptional Bona in particular, or being blunt, he owns the record! :smug:
  8. Yeah, Bona puts a remarkable stamp on the album.
    But keep in mind that it was Stern who wanted it that way, and have composed all the songs!
  9. Aaron


    Jun 2, 2001
    Bellingham, WA
    Mike Stern is one of my favorites to see play live. I haven't seen him with Doky yet, but I have with Bona/Carrington and Wooten/Weckl. To me, probably the thing about his playing that stands out to me the most is his touch. To me, his ability to get great versatility out of touch seems to be only matched by very few (i.e. Jaco.)
  10. zombywoof5050


    Dec 20, 2001
    Been listening to Stern since "Man With The Horn", even saw him play with Miles and several other times, all great shows.
    I really like "These Times", one of his best.
    Met him once too, a real nice guy.

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