Mike Stern : An American Jazz Guitarist Essay

Mike Stern : An American Jazz Guitarist Essay

Length: 962 words (2.7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Mike Stern is an American jazz guitarist known presently for his solo work and previously as the guitarist for legendary trumpeter Miles Davis in the early 1980s. Much of Stern’s compositions and improvisations incorporate a variety of musical styles including rock, blues and jazz traditions. Big Neighborhood is Stern’s 14th solo album released in 2009. The album is recognized for its eclectic musical styles and guest artist collaborations. As one reviewer states, “Big Neighborhood’s styles range from blazing jazz-fusion to African tinged exotica and trippy Middle Eastern journeys.” (Widran, 2009). Both reviews incorporate Stern’s diverse musical content and guest artists as the focus for their arguments.
AllMusic’s Jonathan Widran recognizes the album’s various artists and styles and praises it in this regard saying, “Like all the legends he ever worked for or with, from Miles Davis to Jaco Pastorious, Billy Cobham to the Brecker Brothers, the five-time Grammy nominee has learned over the course of his 26-year recording career something about the nuanced art of collaboration.” (Wildran). The quote exemplifies how Widran believes collaboration with other artists is somewhat of an art in itself and may be important in progressing as an artist. He uses examples of other legendary jazz musicians known for their innovation and experimentation as the basis for his thoughts, and believes they were successful in doing so because of the help of other artists. Also, Widran refers to Stern’s extensive recording career and various award nominations. He gives the impression that Stern’s experience and Grammy nominations strengthen his credibility as an artist. Widran also references guest artists including Esperenza Spalding and Ter...


... middle of paper ...


...tist. When I first heard Stern play I could hear a unique sound right away. His heavy use of chorus gives him a very distinct sound on the instrument that makes him recognizable even in the diverse genres displayed in Big Neighborhood. I sense in Widran’s review too that he may have formed his positive views on Stern because of his widespread popularity and accomplishments over the course of his career. I oppose this idea because often times many great artists do not get immediate praise for their work, and similarly many genres do not get considered for prestigious awards such as the Grammys. I generally regard Stern as being a very talented and well-versed musician, but overall I was disappointed in Big Neighborhood and thought, compared to his older jazz-rock fusion records, this album was lacking Stern’s true influence and sound he previously was known for.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Jazz : A Reaction Of American Life Essays

- Jazz: A Reaction to American Life Jazz, the “purest expression of American democracy; a music built on individualism and compromise, independence and cooperation” has had a great impact on American life since the early 1900s (Burns, 2009). When jazz first emerged on the scene, it immediately made a profound impact on all individuals who experienced it. It didn’t matter who you were. This being said, jazz was especially life changing for the African American population. It opened the door of opportunity for this group of people, and they quickly grasped onto this chance before it could disappear....   [tags: African American, Jazz, Southern United States]

Better Essays
714 words (2 pages)

Essay on The Jazz Age Of African Americans

- The Jazz Age For many years, African Americans were a part of the American culture. African Americans were not free until the end of the Civil war. The abolishment of slavery was settled in the United States after the north won the war. Therefore, African Americans dispersed all over the United States; however, many of them dispersed to New Orleans, the birthplace of jazz. Jazz is American music developed from ragtime and blues, created by rhythms and ensembles; followed by African traditions. Jazz not only gave its name to an era, but also it was a unifying social force and a powerful movement in the cultural identity of blacks and whites....   [tags: Jazz, African American, New York City]

Better Essays
1404 words (4 pages)

Influence Of Jazz Music On Jazz Essay

- Jazz is a musical form, often improvisational, developed by African Americans and influenced by both European harmonic structure and African rhythmic intricacy. Jazz is often characterized by its use of blues and improvisation. Although it is not known exactly when Jazz emerged, there were plantation brass bands dating back to 1835 and Minstrel groups touring in the 1840s. But as far as we know Jazz originated in New Orleans towards the end of the nineteenth century. The first Jazz band was called The Original Dixieland Jazz Band....   [tags: Jazz, African American, Dizzy Gillespie]

Better Essays
1373 words (3.9 pages)

Essay on The History and Influence of Jazz in America

- Jazz is consider one of the most influential types of music an America History. Some of the greatest artist in the world have contribute to the success jazz have had not only on America History but throughout the world. This paper will explain the history of jazz, where it all came from and the effect it has had on the America Culture. Meltingpot.fortuecity.com states the in the 1930’s and 1940’s jazz was at it all time highest. Although it is unclear when jazz first started some believe jazz started in New Orleans....   [tags: Jazz, music, USA, ]

Better Essays
843 words (2.4 pages)

Jazz Music And Its Impact On America 's Music Essay

- What is jazz. Infamous jazz musician Louis Armstrong once said, “If you have to ask what jazz is, you’ll never know.” It is possible to discuss jazz objectively; however, jazz is undoubtedly the most abstract and creative form of music ever developed. There is no concrete definition or description. Jazz is referred to as “America’s Music” and has played a huge role in the cultural development of the United States. Originating in New Orleans, Louisiana, people from several cultures influenced the creation and evolution of jazz....   [tags: Jazz, Music, New Orleans, African American]

Better Essays
708 words (2 pages)

Essay about The Genesis Of Jazz One

- To understand the genesis of Jazz one must also understand the setting of its origin, New Orleans. The city was founded by the French in 1718, then in 1763 the city ceded to Spain and remained under Spanish control until later being returned to the French in 1803, and then was immediately sold to the United States under the Louisiana Purchase. New Orleans was also heavily populated by African slaves making up 30% of the total population of the city at this time; so New Orleans was experiencing a lot of cultural diversity and was being shaped and molded by the many different fashions of people who lived in the city....   [tags: Jazz, Blues, Music, African American]

Better Essays
1811 words (5.2 pages)

Influence of Jazz on American Culture Essay

- Influence of Jazz on American Culture Now a days, many believe that jazz is not that important of music genre, but with our history, jazz plays a big role. “Jazz does not belong to one race or culture, but it is a gift that America has given to the world.”, quoted by Ahmad Alaadeen. Jazz in the 1920’s opened the eyes of whites and invited them into African American culture; it evolved Americans to where we are today since it brought a change to the music scene, an acceptance of African Americans, and a change of lifestyles....   [tags: music, african americans, genres]

Better Essays
1953 words (5.6 pages)

The Between Blues And Jazz Essay

- The interaction between Blues and Jazz can be discerned when the origins of both music are scrutinized. The development of one is hidden in the roots of one another and both use similar sound patterns for instance. In this paper the readers will be presented a brief history of Blues & Jazz within the similarities of the two. If we trace back to the history of Blues music, the impact of African-American tradition is seen quite apparently. Blues music evolved from the songs sung by West African griots, the southern Black American songs of sadness and despair, and more hopeful Christian spirituals....   [tags: Jazz, Blues, African American culture, Rock music]

Better Essays
753 words (2.2 pages)

Social Injustice for African Americans in Toni Morrison's Novel, Jazz Essay

- Social Injustice for African Americans in Toni Morrison's Novel, Jazz Jazz, a novel by Toni Morrison, explores many different aspects of African American life in the early part of the twentieth century. This novel tells a story of the difficulties faced by black families living in the United States. Toni Morrison describes in detail a few of the upsetting situations they had to face. She also subtly throughout the book places one or two lines that tell a tale of injustice. Jazz is a novel filled with many stories of inequality affecting the black community....   [tags: Jazz]

Better Essays
678 words (1.9 pages)

Mike Rose's Lives on the Boundary Essay

- Mike Rose's Lives on the Boundary Mike Rose’s Lives on the Boundary is an Educational Autobiography. The book begins at the beginning of his life and we follow him up into his adult years. The book focuses on the “struggles and achievements of America’s educationally underprepared” . The Alien      In order to understand Mike Rose, and his book Lives on the Boundary, you must first understand where Mike is coming from and examine his past. Mike was born to a first generation immigrant family, originally from Italy....   [tags: Mike Rose Lives Boundary Essays]

Better Essays
1580 words (4.5 pages)