Monday, December 18, 2006

Mike Stern at Catalina

Tonight we went to see Mike Stern and his quartet at Catalina Bar & Grill which featured Dennis Chambers, Bob Franceschini and Victor Wooten. I saw Mike Stern's group 15 years ago in Santa Monica when he was playing with the late Bob Berg. They were amazing then, and are still amazing now.

Tonight was the last show of his 6-day stint in Los Angeles and the club was totally packed with enthusiastic fans. I had no idea so many people in Los Angeles would show up for this show. It was great to see since often, amazingly talented and famous jazz musicians pass through LA and are greeted by embarrassingly small audiences. I guess Mike Stern appeals to both jazz and rock fans.

This was the first time I saw Victor Wooten and Bob Franceschini live. Wooten, of Bela Fleck and the Flecktones fame, was practically the highlight of the night. During one of his solos, he played inspiring renditions of The Christmas Song and Go Tell It On The Mountain. Franceschini was good, but in my opinion, he didn't compare to other sax players that I've heard Mike Stern with like Bob Berg and Michael Brecker.

I haven't seen many good jazz shows in recent years, so it was great to finally make it out and see some of the best musicians in the world.

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