Mike Stern "Is What It Is"

Mike Stern "Is What It Is"

album cover

Mike Stern
Is What It Is
The Story
Reviewer Ries van Schelven writes about guitarist Mike Stern's 1994 release "Is What It Is", "This is, in my opinion, Stern's best solo album. This album is full of jewels. It has a definite jazz/rock sound to it, but has it's pure moments as well. The album starts of with "Swunk", a typical Stern composition featuring Michael Brecker on tenor sax and a kick ass solo. Next, "A Little Luck" which is brilliant guitar work. Then it's ballad time again, "What I Meant To Say", one of my favorites on the album - a soaring melodic piece, showing Mike's brilliance. Then comes some funky stuff on "Showbiz". Listen to the acoustic masterpiece "Wherever You Are", which features Harvie Swartz on the upright acoustic bass. The phrasing is breathtaking. The best piece is "Signs" - this is Mike Stern. The structure of the solo is incredible. It has Mike Stern's signature all over it. I like when he uses his overdrive. It kicks ass! Definitely his best solo album."
The Music
07:53 Swunk Instrumental
06:36 A Little Luck Instrumental
06:20 What I Meant To Say Instrumental
05:43 Showbiz Instrumental
04:32 Believe It Instrumental
05:32 Wherever You Are Instrumental
06:10 Ha Ha Hotel Instrumental
07:48 Signs Instrumental
05:44 55 Dive Instrumental
The Artists
Mike Stern Guitar
Michael Brecker Saxophone
Jim Beard Synthesizers, Piano, Hammond Organ, Wurlitzer Piano, Production, Additional Engineering
Will Lee Bass
Dennis Chambers Drums
Ben Perowsky Drums
Harvie Swartz Acoustic Bass
Bob Malach Saxophone
Phil Magnotti Engineering, Mixing
Rich Lamb Engineering Assistance
Tom Bender Engineering Assistance
Ted Sheets Engineering Assistance
Ron Bach Digital Editing
David Burrell Production Coordination, Management
Robin Tomchin Production Coordination, Management
Greg Calbi Mastering
Danny Clinch Photography
Jean Cronin Art Direction, Design
Recorded at Skyline Studios, New York, NY.

Additional recording and mixed at Carriage House Studios, Stamford, CT.

Digital editing at Editmasters.

Mastered at Sterling Sound Studios, New York, NY.