GUITARIST MIKE STERN PLAYS WITH TALENTED FRIENDS IN A BIG NEIGHBORHOOD
Guest artists on new recording include Steve Vai, Eric Johnson, Esperanza Spalding
Richard Bona, Randy Brecker, Medeski Martin & Wood, Cindy Blackman and others
Five-time GRAMMY nominated guitarist Mike Stern's music has always come from a colorful and diverse part of town – a place where numerous artistic styles converge to create a fresh sound that's rooted in jazz but refuses to adhere to rigid borders. Since his earliest recordings, this former bandmate of Miles Davis, Jaco Pastorius, Billy Cobham and other high-profile innovators has grafted elements of rock, blues, soul and more to his solid jazz foundations. On Stern's street, anybody who brings a sense of energy, eclecticism and passion to the craft of music is welcome to play.
| Mike Stern|
Stern invites fans and newcomers alike into his rich and diverse little corner of the world with the August 11, 2009, worldwide release of Big Neighborhood on Heads Up International, a division of Concord Music Group. Aiding Stern in this latest chapter of his never-ending quest for the new and better groove is a long list of talented guests: guitarists Steve Vai and Eric Johnson; bassist-vocalists Esperanza Spalding and Richard Bona; jamband godfathers Medeski Martin & Wood; drummers Dave Weckl, Terri Lyne Carrington, Cindy Blackman and Lionel Cordew; bassists Chris Minh Doky and Lincoln Goines, and several others.
With a crew this large and diverse, the idea of the album title should be pretty clear, says Stern. "Music is like a big neighborhood – a place where anything and everything can happen," he explains. "You can find all kinds of things in a big neighborhood – all kinds of different people, all kinds of different ideas and perspectives, and of course, all kinds of different sounds."
Mike Stern's Big Neighborhood is an open community where everyone is welcome. Everyone has something worthwhile to say, and everyone is given plenty of room to say it. "The thing that really gets me going is listening to all these very different artists on this record interpret my songs," says Stern. "In the end, everything is unified by the mere fact that it's just good music. That's really the common thread. There's just that vibe that emerges when good musicians play their hearts out. Nothing else really matters as far as I'm concerned... I think anyone who likes any of these artists will really dig what they did on this record."