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Be warned: At least some of these CD reviews were written out longhand while I stared at beautiful Pickerel Lake while vacationing in northern Michigan.
A good many of them were accompanied by a fairly well-stocked bar.
Big Neighborhood is the Contemporary Jazz album of the year. Over the course of a dozen years and three albums, Maia Sharp has proven to be both potent performer and universally appealing songwriter.
Her three releases — 1997’s , Sharp impossibly amplifies all of the formidable skills she‘s exhibited throughout her career — an engaging gift for wordplay that encompasses wry humor and heartbreaking introspection and the ability to blend and transcend genres.
And for the Bob Pollard album, that was probably appropriate.
From the very dawn of his prolific career, guitarist Mike Stern has contented himself with being the small name on the marquee and the big presence in the guitar slot, from his first gig in the mid-’70s with Blood Sweat & Tears to high profile stints with Billy Cobham, Miles Davis, Jaco Pastorius and The Brecker Brothers.
My sister-in-law and I were lucky enough to witness both parents and all three babies in flight one afternoon.
We're usually in no big hurry to do anything in particular, and this trip was different only in the fact that we'd taken two weeks rather than our standard seven days, resulting in potentially double the restorative powers of a normal vacation.
Something in her voice hit me deep in the cortex, and when I looked at her face I knew that I knew her; a quick conversation confirmed my hunch.
In his storied solo career, Stern has had little difficulty generating considerable acclaim under his own banner, racking up five Grammy nominations and accolades including Best Jazz Guitarist of 1993 from readers and critics, the 2007 Miles Davis Award from the Montreal International Jazz Festival honoring his body of work, and being named one of Down Beat magazine’s 75 Great Guitarists on a list that drew from players dating back to the ’20s.
On Stern’s latest solo excursion, , the astonishing guitarist continues to explore the intersection of Jazz, Rock, Blues and Soul with thunderous power, intuitive brilliance and inventive fluidity.
She and I went through the two-year design program at Ferris State College 30 years ago.
I hadn’t seen her since we left school and hadn’t talked to her since a phone call back in the mid-’80s, after which I lost track of her.