Mike Stern

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This is a relatively straight-ahead set by the distinctive guitarist Mike Stern, whose airy sound seems quite fresh in this context. Stern performs three standards ("I Love You," "Giant Steps" and "Oleo"), Jimi Hendrix's "Who Knows," and six originals, mostly in a trio with bassist John Patitucci and drummer Jack DeJohnette. Percussionist Don Alias helps out on a few tracks; pianist Gil Goldstein is on two, and tenor great Michael Brecker nearly steals the show with three high-powered solos. Actually, the biggest surprise is "That's What You Think," a straight-ahead blues that has a very credible alto solo from guest David Sanborn. All in all, an excellent outing.

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