Mike Stern is one of my favourite musicians. I’ve previously seen him perform at the 55 Bar, in the Village in NYC, and he’s been a regular attraction at previous Toronto Jazz Festivals. Antonio is an aspiring guitarist, and our schedules only permitted us to see Steps Ahead at Iridium on the night that Mike wasn’t playing. Since I was spending a lot of time in town, I made a point of scheduling an evening when Mike is at 55 Bar. This evening was a trio with Lionel Cordew on drums and Tom Kennedy on bass.
Bar 55 is long and narrow. We enjoyed a front row view of the musicians, so Antonio did as most guitarist do — watching fingers fly. After the set, Antonio bought a CD and had Mike sign it.
I chatted with Mike briefly. I had just picked up the Lifecycle album with the Yellowjackets where Mike had performed as a guest member of the band. Mike said that it was a great experience, and so much fun to play with such great musicians.