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Saw Richard Bona (w/ Mike Stern) last night...

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Jason Carota, Feb 4, 2004.

  1. Jason Carota

    Jason Carota

    Mar 1, 2002
    Lowell, MA
    ...and all I can say is WOW. What an unbelievable performance! The quartet consisted of Stern (guitar,) Richard Bona (bass,) Bob Franceschini (sax,) and, the big surprise (and a nice one at that,) was Dennis Chambers on drums. Dave Weckl (originally scheduled on drums) was not able to make it.

    All members of the quartet were on fire last night. Richard Bona gave one of those performances that makes you feel as if you should go back to working on Mary Had a Little Lamb. Unbelievable lines, amazing solos (including a solo spotlight with scat,) and a feel that just made you laugh, smile, move, etc. .

    They play again tonight. The show is at the Regattabar in Cambridge, MA. If you can, I highly reccomend you see this show.
  2. Slot


    Oct 17, 2003
    Sydney - The Shire

    damn you yanks are lucky
  3. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    Right on dude!

    I Was at the 10 PM show.

    I've seen Mike Stern live 5 times, and (coincidentally) every time it's been with Vic on bass and Dennis chambers on drums(3 times), it was really refreshing to see someone that isn't vic playing :p

    Bona is awesome!

    I had heard him on the Word of Mouth revisited album, and on mike sterns latest, but that misrepresented him, he's totally amazing live!

    Granted, he plays and sounds very much like jaco a lot of the time*, he still is very playful and energetic, and his solo spot was KILLER!

    I wasn't a big fan of his tone for the first half of the show, but somewhere along the line he switched it up a little and I really liked it, combined with his creative use of singing melodies while playing basslines(I loved how he was changing keys with his voice while keeping the bass solid) I think he stole the show in my opinion.

    he has a really good falsetto.

    Dennis chambers, as always, was jaw dropping, I swear that man has an invisible hand.

    Bob Franceschini was cool, but, I dunno, sax players don't really do it for me, though the opening jam(which they have played every time I've seen them)...I love that lead played on sax.

    and of course, Stern himself, very awesome, he's so into what he's doing and it really shows on stage, he's very fun to watch, and I really like his stuff.

    the show wasn't the best I've seen from stern but it was still very good, I wish they had done an encore though :meh:

    *Not that there is anything wrong with that. My friend noted that it must be kind of weird for stern to play with bona, having played with jaco around the time bona was just learning bass
  4. Jason Carota

    Jason Carota

    Mar 1, 2002
    Lowell, MA
    Ah yes, that's right. You're in Boston now. :)

    So true! From where I was sitting (left corner, if you are facing the stage) Chambers' right arm was sticking out from behind the amps. It almost looked as if it was floating.

    As far as Bona's tone goes, it sounded unbelievable for the enire 8pm show. At the end of the show, Stern and the rest of the band went to the merchandise table to sign CD's. While they were there, people were on the stage checking out the gear (looked like Bona was using a Walter Woods amp, Epifani cabs, and a 70's Jazz.) My guess is that the knobs got tweaked here and there.
  5. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    When I first saw Chambers play, I was on the far left side as well, and he was totally obstructed behind sterns amps, save for his arms.

    now during his solo he was holding up a sick groove for a while that was making use of about every drum he had, then all of a sudden I see a hand pop out from the amp and start hitting toms, but the groove pretty much stayed the same.

    that was just beyond nutty.

    His one-handed drum rolls are incredible too.
  6. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    some people have all the luck, they have a FBB, they get to see Bona, Stern and Chambers in one night........it's just not fair!


    :D ;)
  7. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    I saw him in Gothenburg last March. The line-up then was Stern, Franseschini, Chris Minh Doky on bass and Lionel Cordew on drums. I didn't miss either Bona, Chambers, Weckl or any of those names. :D Minh Doky pulled off what might have been one of the most inspired solos I've ever heard. Magic.
    Unfortunately, both Stern and especially Franseschini disappointed a bit - didn't seem to be as inspired as you'd hope. Still a great show, though.

    Seeing him with Chambers/Bona wouldn't have hurt either.
  8. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    I saw that too-it was an Austin City Limits episode. I thought the bass was a Cellinder, but who knows. Bona's solo was fantastic, and his background vocals and guitar were great. Some really haunting moments on that performance.
  9. Thor

    Thor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    As you Boston guys know, Regatta Bar in Cambridge is
    one of the areas premier venues. A lot of big names
    book there.

    The Eric inthe Evening show on WGBH, the PBS radio
    station often runs down upcoming jazz perofrmances
    in the area.

    Sounded like real nice show!
  10. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    OK, so I bump this one because I saw these guys when they played in Gothenburg yesterday night. The set, divided in two parts, lasted for almost three hours. Very generous of them, but they did look like having a lot of fun on stage. I'd never heard, much less seen Bona until yesterday... let's just say he could have given a lot worse first impression! :D

    The guy is simply amazing. His playing oozes of spontaneous creativity, playfulness and energy. He didn't just play the bass, he played WITH the bass, but always managed to keep it in the context of the song. Never disturbing or overbearing (sometimes it bordered onto the silly, but everyone laughed and enjoyed it, including Stern). And the man's touch, his feel and time were all impeccable. I may just have found a new favourite.
    There was a section dedicated to just Stern & Bona improvising, and Bona more or less stole that show. After trying to follow Bona's lead for a while, Stern just sat down with an open mouth and watched Bona do his thing. And I lack words to describe this man's solos. Chris Minh Doky might have played one amazing solo last time I saw Stern, but Bona played SEVERAL equally amazing ones.

    Chambers is incredible too, one of the best drummers I've heard, although four drum solos might have been one (or four ;)) too many.

    Stern had a good night, and played some really great stuff with lots of energy (as always?). He did some truly wild soloing on the uptempo songs, incorporating ideas I don't think I've heard him use before. Not that I'm a Stern expert in any way, but some things really seemed fresh, coming from him.

    Now, Francescini doesn't play in the same league, IMO. I mean, the guy can play, no question about that, but his soloing left something to be desired. I recall when seeing him with Stern the last time he came to Gothenburg, and even though I don't remember the details, I do remember my impression of his soloing as being a bit weak. For yesterday night, it seemed like he had adopted more of the free jazz/avant garde way of thinking about soloing, at least in the up tempo songs. To my ears his execution of these solos was really poor - he more or less seemed to entangle himself in one particular idea, that he didn't take anywhere or break away from. He stuck and played the same atonal thing over and over, with little variation. One idea isn't enough for a three minute solo, if you can't develop it.
    During the slower songs he seemed to play with a more conservative approach, more melodical, and he could paradoxically enough take this type of soloing a lot further, and develop his ideas a lot more. A friend I was with thought it was kind of "cheesy" and gave him a vibe of the 80's, but I didn't think of it like that. I just thought it was funny that his conservative playing seemed more adventurous and his adventurous playing seemed conservative.

    Overall, a great concert. Well worth the 4 hour travel time to get there, and the 4 hours it took to get back home today. If they bring a different sax player next time, I'd travel to the end of the world to see them.
  11. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta (Grant Park!)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    Ooh! Did they do "Goodbye Again"? That's my favorite Stern song! It's from the album Upside, Downside.
  12. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    No, no "Goodbye Again" yesterday. I think all songs were new-ish (= Play album and newer). Songs were kind of irrelevant though, since 75% of the gig consisted of (mostly great) soloing and improvisation. :D
  13. I was Gothenburg too. Bona is simply amazing. He´s really one of six billions!!! Chambers made a really cool solo, where played 3 different tempos at the same time. Great show, but instead of Mike Stern band it should be announced as Richard Bona with friends. It was his show from the beginning to the end. I was suprised that he didn´t play EBS gear. He used two Eden 410 and a Walter Woods amp.

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