Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Who Let the Cats Out? based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
OK, I admit it...I wasn't familiar with Mike Stern or his music until I stumbled on it an a BN listening station...my musical tastes had gone down the blues highway since the inception and undeserved popularity of "smooth jazz" (which I find revolting!!!) and befor that, I leaned towards the big band sound. I found his music to be refreshing and fun to listen to. He's got a new fan!! I can't leave without commenting on the sidemen (and woman) that play behind him...many of whom are headliners in their own right!!! What a tight group!! This is what jazz is all about!!!
After a two CD flirtation with Methenyesque vocal-driven jazz, Mike Stern goes back to basics with this release, and what a welcome return. Featuring such luminaries as Victor Wooten, Dave Weckl, Richard Bona, and Roy Hargrove as sidemen, "Who Let the Cats Out" is probably Stern's strongest outing since "Play." It's a shame Mike Brecker could not play on this CD, but "We're With You," the tender ballad co-dedicated to Mr. Brecker is the next best thing. The compositions are nicely varied and cover the stylistic map, and it's interesting to hear him add some new harmonic coloring, working with trumpet and harmonica on this recording. But the real reason anyone listens to Mike Stern is to hear him burning through changes, and his chops are as impressive as ever. He even kicks in the distoration on occasion, as if finally realizing that nasty edge to his sound was part of what made him great. Highly recommended.