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Post new topic MONSTER Sparkly Guitars - Mike Stern+Eric Johnson
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Author Topic:  MONSTER Sparkly Guitars - Mike Stern+Eric Johnson
David Mason

Cambridge, MD, USA
Post Posted 14 Oct 2017 9:47 am     Reply with quote

Mike Stern is a fixture in the New York jazz scene, started with a stint in Miles Davis' (underrated) 80's band. But Stern guppied with Hendrix, Cream, the usual suspects. Eric Johnson is the Austin-sprung instrumental rock/fusion master. But, he started on Joe Pass, Wes Montgomery etc., so they're both really confused. They originally crossed paths with one of those "phone-it-in" e-mail guest-y things, but they met in PERSON and actually TALKED... the old-fashioned way. Then released a full duo album (Eclectic) recorded by peeps in the same room playing at the same time - might they be Whoa! Commies?!?! Whoa! Who woulda thunk, it's well beyond the usual mortgage's due, better-slam-out-product type of duos.

But: I was cruising my secret 6,000-live-concert stash site:
Cruise down to "E" for Eric of course, poke up a Johnson/Stern show.
Holy Cow! Unholy Cow! They're inspired, juicy, torchy, funny, all the stuff - why music IS. #2238 is at the Blue Note 13-08-15 - but they're all way on. So many people play best when there's someone there to kick their ass, but it's hard for a headliner "star" to find someone they can pay to beat them up - fixed that up rat fine here. And they're both "live" guys, preferring it to recording. Befitting the occasions, all the guitar solos are totally different from each other.

Speaking of two guitars, Austin, FINE & Miles, the fine (underrated grrr) '83 Davis band with Mike Stern AND John Scofield AND monster saxbo Bob Berg played Austin 83/2/4, Sugarmegs got it (#2142). And piles of the underrated 1970's McCoy Tyner, and my preferred pre-Jaco Weather Report, and all the NRPS concerts anyone could stand (both Buddy Cage and The Anointed One, Greatest-Ever-Jerry), an... an.... the single greatest guitar solo ever -> #2254, filed under "R" for Remember, natch. Of COURSE you can have 30+ Keith Jarrett concerts. But all must at least taste Johnson/Stern, it's REQUIRED. A joyful noise can set you straight and you can hear that they're having quite the whoopie too.
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Mike Neer

Post Posted 15 Oct 2017 4:35 pm     Reply with quote

I am a big Mike Stern fan from way back in the 80s and also very fond of EJ. I saw them many times individually and finally together about 2 years ago. I'll never forget the first tune, Mike must have ripped about 20 choruses of the first tune. It was fun as heck.

I used to bug Mike all the time at his weekly (2x per) gig at 55 Bar for lessons. Finally, he relented and invited me over to his place. I learned so much that day, including that I would never be a jazz player. But it empowered me in some weird way to keep moving forward. I love the dude.
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Jerry Hayes

Virginia Beach, Va.
Post Posted 21 Oct 2017 9:49 am     Reply with quote

Mike's wife (Lani or Leni) ain't no slouch on guitar either. Check her out.......JH in Va.
Don't matter who's in Austin (or anywhere else) Ralph Mooney is still the king!!!
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Mark van Allen

Watkinsville, Ga. USA
Post Posted 28 Oct 2017 10:50 am     Reply with quote

I saw Mike with Jaco at a small bar in Vegas in the later 80's… probably 15 people in there. I just could not fathom how many people were missing out on an event like that. Scrambled my brain.
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