Mike Stern Never Fails To Please
I have seen Mike perform with a variety of musicians, from Eric Johnson with whom he recorded an incredible album in 2014 to numerous session musicians.
Mike is an extraordinary guitarist and a fabulous performer. One of the things that impresses me most about him is the way he supports the musicians who are performing with him. He steps aside to let each member of his band take a solo and shakes his head as if in amazement of their talent.
Performing with Mike at this show were Dennis Chambers on drums (he is extraordinary – check him out if you can), Tom Kennedy on bass (also extraordinary – this was my first time seeing him), and Bob Franceschini on saxophone.
I am not sure I have ever seen a sax player use pedals before seeing Bob at this show and was fascinated. I think Bob used his pedals more than Mike did!
Some of the tunes they played were familiar, including at one from the Eclectic Guitars recording with Eric Johnson. Even though I knew them, they sounded different from any other time I have heard them. That, to me, is one of the beauties of live jazz performance. It is generally so improvisational that you could see two shows, back to back, and they would sound quite different.
Sometimes I find it hard to write about an instrumental show. I can say how the music made me feel but that is a very individual feeling.
Mike’s music transports me on a flying carpet. At this show, I was in the mountains, cruising the peaks and valleys. It was magical, as it always is for me when I see him.
This was probably the best band I have seen with him (not including Eric Johnson, which is in a class by itself). Dennis is a terrific drummer whom I have seen perform several times. He is incredibly talented and he makes it look so easy. He is not a flamboyant performer, but as solid as they come.
Tom Kennedy was new to me, and I was extremely impressed with his playing. Also not flamboyant, he helped set a solid rhythm. His bass is gorgeous. I do not know who else he performs with, but I hope to catch him again soon.
Bob Franceschini was also new to me, and he also impressed me quite a bit. He’s a solid sax player who easily kept up with Mike.
I plan to see Mike whenever he is in town. He is one of the best around!
Thanks to Regattabar for the ticket; all opinions are my own.
Posted on March 5, 2016, in concert photos, concert reviews, music, Uncategorized and tagged Bob Franceschini, boston, concert photos, concert review, Dennis Chambers, jazz, jazz guitar, Mike Stern, music, Regattabar, Tom Kennedy. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.