On "These Times", his auspicious debut on ESC Records, three-time Grammy-nominated guitarist Mike Stern joins forces with stellar saxophonist Kenny Garrett (a fellow Miles Davis alumnus), drummer Vinnie Colaiuta and a string of stellar bass players in Will Lee, Victor Wooten and Richard Bona. Along with percussionists Arto Tuncboyaciyan and Don Alias, drummer Dennis Chambers, tenor saxophonists Bob Franceschini and Bob Malach, vocalist Elizabeth Kontomanou and keyboardist-producer Jim Beard, Stern - one of the true guitar greats of his generation - places his signature fluid and lyrical lines into the fabric of highly appealing vocal and instrumental numbers that strike a splendid balance between memorable melodies and burning fusillades. Special guest Bela Fleck also adds his inimitable virtuosic touch on banjo to one tune. "This album was a bit of a continuation of "Voices" but with some strong instrumental tunes as well," says Stern, referring to his Grammy-nominated album from 2001. "I definitely wanted to continue working with Richard Bona, who played such a big part on "Voices". And I've always wanted to play and record with Kenny Garrett. He's a very special musician. I wrote a couple of instrumental tunes for him on this CD and he sounded great."
|05:06||I Know You||Vocal|
|06:45||What You Believe||Vocal|
|05:30||Last One Down||Instrumental|
|Kenny Garrett||Soprano Saxophone, Alto Saxophone|
|Jim Beard||Piano, Synthesizers, Organ, Production, Engineering|
|Richard Bona||Vocals, Bass, Percussion|
|Bob Franceschini||Tenor Saxophone|
|Bob Malach||Tenor Saxophone|
|Jon Herington||Additional Rhythm Guitars|
|Phil Magnotti||Engineering, Mixing|
|Aya Takemura||Engineering Assistance|
|Joachim Becker||Executive Production|
|Recorded at Avatar Studios, NYC 1/25, 1/26 and 1/27, 2003 and The Carriage House Studios, CT 5/28/03.
Additional recordings at B&C Studios, NYC.
Mixed at Carriage House Studios, CT, 5/03.
Mastered at Sterling Sound.