"Play" finds guitar ace Mike Stern alongside two other modern guitar masters, John Scofield and Bill Frisell. The results are stunning, to say the least. Though each of the three guitarists has a distinctive sound and style, an unmistakable camaraderie develops over the course of the album. It is the powerful work of Stern, Scofield, and Frisell that is the focus on this session. Scofield steps up first as he and Stern take the first three tracks together. On the exciting title track, the two spar ferociously on the intricate theme and burning solos. The New Orleans groove of "Small World," familiar sonic territory for Scofield, is a particular highlight. Frisell makes his entrance with the atmospheric "Blue Tone," which fits his signature eclectic sound perfectly. Likewise, Stern sounds right at home on the ultra-funky "Tipatina's," a raucous tune that features muscular work by Malach. Frisell also makes a beautiful contribution to the expressive ballad "All Heart." Other highlights on "Play" include the up-tempo romp "Links" and the final Frisell feature, "Big Kids."
|John Scofield||Guitar (Tracks 1, 2 & 3)|
|Bill Frisell||Guitar (Tracks 4, 6, 7 & 10)|
|Ben Perowsky||Drums (Tracks 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7 & 10)|
|Dennis Chambers||Drums (Tracks 5, 8 & 9)|
|Bob Malach||Tenor Saxophone (Tracks 3, 5, 6, 8 & 9)|
|Jim Beard||Keyboards, Production|
|Rory Romano||Mixing Assistance|
|Andrea Yankovsky||Mixing Assistance|
|David Fischer||Engineering Assistance|
|Anthony Ruotolo||Engineering Assistance|
|Greg Thompson||Engineering Assistance|
|Matt Gold||Engineering Assistance|
|Caleb Lambert||Engineering Assistance|
|All songs written by Mike Stern.
Recorded at Litho Studios, Seattle, December, 1998; Avatar Studios, New York, NY, January, 1999; Kampo Studios, New York, NY.
Mixed at Avatar Studios, New York, NY.
Mastered at Sterling Sound, Inc., New York, NY.