Mike Stern

On the heels of his new release, Who Let the Cats Out? (Heads Up), the three-time Grammy nominee weaves various musical influences into his guitar-playing. "I am a jazz player," he says, "but you have to follow your musical heart." He must have learned this lesson while performing with Miles Davis and close friend Jaco Pastorius in the Eighties. "Miles Davis had a lot of ideas. He was gut-level, and the groove was more like a feeling, no matter where it came from," Stern says. "I like the idea of being so open. And the jazz guitar world is far more eclectic. The instrument is everywhere, in every musical style." Along for the ride are Bob Franceschini (tenor sax), Lincoln Goines (bass), and Lionel Cordew (drums), all of whom have performed and recorded with Stern over the years. "They're wide-open, awesome musicians in the Miles tradition," he adds. — Ernest Barteldes


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