Mike Stern Band: Paris Concert
Genre: Jazz fusion, post-bop
Cast and Crew: Bob Berg, Dave Weckl, Lincoln Goines, Bob Sheppard, Mike Stern and feat. Richard Bona, Dennis Chambers, Bob Franceschini
While Stern is a nimble soloist and is obviously having a ball, this set belongs largely to Franceschini. When Franceschini starts tearing through riffs on his sax, the electricity factor is upped immeasurably. With a deep throated growl, his playing is both robust and surprisingly nuanced, and when he calms down for the more lyrical moments, he offers a beautiful liquid and mellow sound from his horn. The musical interplay between Franceschini and Stern is also very enjoyable. Though they don't really trade fours or eights in the traditional manner, their dialogues, often overlapping or even in unison, reveal a strong communication factor. I was also repeatedly impressed with Weckl's surefooted bass drum work, which consistently accented off-beat sixteenth notes in some of the faster pieces.
Production: US | in-akustik