Saturday, November 13, 2010

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase:
Spotlight on Mike Stern

If you're a fan of jazz/fusion guitar, next week should be a good time to be in St. Louis. In addition to the concert by John McLaughlin and 4th Dimension on Friday at the Sheldon, which was previewed last week in this space, guitarist Mike Stern will be playing Wednesday, November 17 through Saturday, November 20 a couple of blocks away at Jazz at the Bistro.

Stern has been a relatively frequent visitor to St. Louis in recent years, playing at the Bistro with his own band a couple of years ago and again with the Yellowjackets last season. There's another local connection as well, since Stern frequently works with drummer Dave Weckl and bassist Tom Kennedy. Both St. Louis natives will be on hand for Stern's gig next week, with saxophonist Bob Malach rounding out the group.

Today's first clip features Stern, Weckl, Kennedy and saxophonist Bob Franceschini, who played here with Stern in 2008, performing Stern's tune "Tumble Home" last year at the Alatri In Blues festival in Italy.

Down below, you can see Stern, Weckl and Kennedy playing an extended version of "Yesterdays" at the Triumph of Jazz Festival in Moscow in June 2010. The performance is in two parts, features solos from all three musicians, and serves as a representative example of the way Stern and Co. typically stretch out in concert. (The audio level on this performance is a bit lower than usual, so you may need to adjust playback volume accordingly.)

Below that, we've got a couple of goodies of particular interest to guitarists. The fourth clip is a short interview with Stern in which he discusses his guitar rig, including his preference for using two amplifiers and his use of digital delay. Below that, there's a video compiled from a master class, in which Stern discusses the use of chord tones while soloing, and then demonstrates his point in a short performance.

(Edited after posting to correct the day of the John McLaughlin concert.)

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