And they really work hard at it. So they sent me a bunch of prototypes and they gave me one that's really good. And generally, the guitar they have in the stores that are my model, everybody seems to really like them.
They're slightly different than mine, because this one's a little heavier than most people would play. But they're really warm sounding Tele, kind of style guitar. There are so many great musicians who have come to the 55 over the years to both play with you and to hear you play. Now, they were all band mates of yours, contemporaries, and great friends. They could also burn like mothers. How did their untimely deaths affect you? Not just as a person, but as an artist. That must have been very hard on you? All three of those guys, and of course, Miles, who should probably would still be alive because he was so strong, but he didn't exactly take care of himself through his whole life.
I think it cut his life short. And I think in a lot of, in all those cases, except for Bob, well, it was a car accident, with Bob Berg. But with Michael it was early stuff that kind of caught up with him. And he kind of was unlucky with the treatment for stuff that he had, you know, with liver stuff. And then Jaco, of course, that wasn't a surprise, totally, that he was headed for an early demise, you know, an early death.
But at the same time it was a shock and a totally sad thing for me with all three of those guys. Amazing shock and incredibly sad.
And I still miss them and wish they were here because I say "Man, let's play, and let's. Yeah, I'm working on this tune. You know, I keep thinking. I often think if Jaco was still alive it would be so amazing to play with him and to do gigs with him. I mean, it was so much fun. And I wasn't really sober at the time and now I've been sober for like 25 years.
We played some since I got sober. And it clicked like a mother. Even more than before. But, you know, he didn't go down that route. He kind of stayed getting messed up. So it really got I think that's why he died. I mean, at the end of the day, no matter how the real circumstances happened, he kind of led himself into that. Let's turn it back to the music of Big Neighborhood. I saw him at Symphony's Space in '92 or '93, playing a bunch of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and a whole bunch of qawwali singers on stage.
Mike discusses and demonstrates his approach to learning jazz, playing through changes and working on progressions. But then there are some tunes of mine that singers have always mentioned to me that they liked very much Hiram was always playing bebop. Trip Heads Up International buy. So the same thing on this guy made something for me in Boston that was similar to that, and that was a spare. He was living in my loft in SoHo.
They were playing and singing like 32 measure phrases and alternating between 10 and 7 beats per measure. It was amazing and totally beautiful. I spent the whole night trying to count it. I was completely lost, but it grew my ears out. Oh yes, It's amazing stuff, amazing music. And he was just a soulful cat, man. That guy, incredibly soulful voice.
Richard Bona said at one time, he was on one of those records where he was doing stuff with Alanis Morrisette and you know, James Taylor.
Some record company had hooked Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan up with all those guys, and maybe Peter Gabriel, something like that. And Richard Bona was like background singing for something. He said all those singers were great and they had their own personality. But when that cat [Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan] came on and started singing, it was just all over in about two seconds.
You know, it was just so amazing. So, incredible, incredible cat. But yes, I was truly inspired by that. But there's a really interesting story that Steve Vai almost played with him. And I never knew that. I had just gotten Steve for the record, I said Steve would sound cool on this tune, I thought, you know.
Steve and I were rehearsing and I didn't really have the right vibe, initially, it was more like a funk vibe. You know who that is? Yes, I know what you mean. Now, in terms of your recording style, it sounds so "live. That's how your records come across. I like to do it live.
Hook Up. By Mike Stern. • 1 song, Play on Spotify. 1. Hook Up. Featured on Listen to Mike Stern in full in the Spotify app. Play on Spotify. Give and Take is an album by Mike Stern, released in through Atlantic Records. All tracks written by Mike Stern, except where noted. "Hook Up", 7:
I've never done anything with files or that kind of stuff. I don't like to. I probably will always avoid that as much as I can on my own records. I understand people sometimes do it because they can't You can't fly somebody here and there and But I just try and make that happen whenever possible.
It's just so much better live. For me, for this kind of music, the interplay is so important, even if it's pretty arranged. The stuff that happens in the studio, where you might change an arrangement just on the spur of the moment. That was kind of the plan but we just got so swamped with things that it didn't happen. But we'll have to save that for the future, because I definitely want to record with vocals again. That one features Arto on vocals and it's got a distinctly Middle Eastern quality to it, like something you might associate with Morocco or Turkey.
We wanted to just play. And actually, it all went down smoothly in three days - two days with Vinnie Colaiuta and one day with Dennis Chambers. The only things I overdubbed was one tune where I broke a string in the middle of the solo and another tune where a microphone fell from one of my amps during my solo, so I had to play that one over. Everything else is just live. And that's really what I wanted for this album - the live vibe with real drums and piano in the same room and a little bit of leakage so that it sounds real.
I actually was in an opera when I was little and was also singing in the church choir. So the voice was kind of the first instrument I had even before guitar.
King, Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix. But I didn't really get serious about it until I went to Berklee in That gig is also significant for introducing Mike to two musicians who would later figure prominently in his life - percussionist Don Alias and bassist Jaco Pastorius. Two years later, he got the call from Miles Davis. From to , he toured with Jaco Pastorius' Word of Mouth band and in returned to Miles' lineup for a second tour of duty that lasted close to a year.
In the summer of , Stern went out on the road with David Sanborn and later joined a powerhouse line-up of Steps Ahead, which also featured the vibist Mike Mainieri, saxophonist Michael Brecker, bassist Darryl Jones and drummer Steve Smith. Stern's second Atlantic album, 's Time In Place, continued the promise of his debut. He followed that up with 's Jigsaw and 's Odds Or Evens.
During this period he also formed a touring group with saxophonist Berg that included drummer Dennis Chambers and bassist Lincoln Goines. They remained a working unit from to , at which point Stern joined a reunited Brecker Brothers Band he appears on 's Return of the Brecker Brothers. Gibson Award for Best Jazz Guitarist that year.