Mike Stern

Upside Downside

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Mike Stern's debut as a leader mostly features the high-powered guitarist heading a sextet also including tenor saxophonist Bob Berg, keyboardist Mitch Forman, bassist Mark Egan, drummer Dave Weckl and percussionist Dr. Gibbs. Altoist David Sanborn makes a guest appearance on "Goodbye Again," while "Mood Swings" features the quartet of Stern, Berg, electric bassist Jaco Pastorius (with whom Stern had worked in the Word of Mouth Orchestra) and drummer Steve Jordan. The guitarist wrote or co-wrote all six selections, which generally have viable chord changes. The playing mostly fits into the genre of funky fusion, with Stern's passionate guitar heard throughout in fine form.

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