Get this crazy baby off my head!


Wayne Krantz and Leni Stern

Wayne Krantz and Leni Stern - Separate Cages - 1996 - Alchemy Records

Leni Stern, the great Munich born jazz and jazz fusion guitarist has recorded many albums and collaborated with many great musicians including Paul Motian, Alain Caron and Bob Malach. Despite being an excellent composer, lyricist, and guitarist, her name remains unfamiliar to many people. "Guitarist Wayne Krantz is just about the hippest thing on six strings, as his blue-chip side- man credits attest. His own solo projects, meanwhile – daringly original, genre-bending improvisational affairs – have put him in a category of one". © CORMAC LARKIN The Irish Times - Friday, June 29, 2012 © 2012 irishtimes.com

"This month's absolute must-have is Separate Cages (Alchemy ALCD 1007; 58:23), a collection of tightly constructed, intimate guitar duets by Wayne Krantz and Leni Stern. The duo spins detailed and nuanced "conversations"-from the melancholy, overtone-driven tone painting of Stern's "Leave Softly," to the dark, bluesy rock tones of Krantz's "Claudine," with Stern on dobro. Krantz's "Nicole" features a beautifully executed point-counterpoint between his dizzyingly fast-paced, dark background and Stern's long-lined, pining solo. The best of these pieces generate palpable emotion-where "November"'s soft-touch, musing solo and light-toned accompaniment is sad, powerful and full of regret, the duo's interpretation of Larry John McNally's "Something is Wrong in Spanish Harlem" is hopeful and gentle, with a smoky vocal by Stern ("if music has the power to change things/even in the smallest of ways/I send these notes to the night/like a prayer to the light"). McNally's heartening lyric is at the emotional center of this fine, thought-provoking effort. By & © Hilarie Grey October 1997 © 1999–2012 JazzTimes, Inc. All rights reserved http://jazztimes.com/articles/9747-separate-cages-wayne-krantz-and-leni-stern Listen to Leni's "Words" album and Wayne's phenomenal guitar playing on Chris Potter's "Underground" album. Check this blog for other Wayne Krantz releases and check out Leni's "Black Guitar" album on this blog. Spare a thought for the late, great Emily Remler who was another exceptional jazz guitarist. Listen to her great "Firefly" album sometime [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 127 Mb]


1. Saturday Morning (5:04) [Leni Stern]
Leni, stratocaster; Wayne, steel string acoustic
2. Claudine (3:33) [Wayne Krantz]
Leni, dobro; Wayne, steel string acoustic
3. Something Is Wrong In Spanish Harlem (5:00) [Gary Willis, Larry John McNally]
Leni, voice, stratocaster; Wayne, steel string acoustic
4. Point Falling (6:33) [Leni Stern]
Leni, stratocaster; Wayne, steel string acoustic
5. Nicole (3:56) [Wayne Krantz]
Leni, nylon string acoustic; Wayne, electric baritone guitar
6. King's Cross (For Emily Remler) (7:02) [Leni Stern]
Leni, stratocaster; Wayne, telecaster
7. Veronique (2:21) [Gary Willis, Wayne Krantz]
Wayne, stratocaster
8. Keep My Heart (5:52) [Wayne Krantz]
Leni, stratocaster; Wayne, voice, steel string acoustic
9. Leave Softly (4:53) [Leni Stern]
Leni, stratocaster; Wayne, steel string acoustic
10. Silver Line (6:00) [Leni Stern, Tim LeFebvre]
Leni, stratocaster; Wayne, steel string acoustic
11. November (For LJM) (7:51) [Leni Stern]
Leni, nylon string acoustic; Wayne, steel string acoustic


Born 26th July 26 1956, WAYNE KRANTZ was raised in Corvalis, Oregon, Krantz. He discovered the Beatles at 14, and soon after started playing guitar. Having previously been subjected to piano tuition and hated it, KRANTZ found with the guitar he enjoyed not being told to practice. Early musical development included playing in rock and country groups. Shortly before leaving high school he discovered jazz in his father's record collection, in particular guitarist BARNEY KESSEL: this music became his main interest. To quote from KRANTZ's own web biography: "My first musically important job was with a band in Boston, the D SHARP GROUP - which also had guitarist BILL FRISELL. Afterwards I went on the road with CARL BLEY and that's where I really learned how to play chord changes. LENI STERN heard me playing at a club with CARLA and started hiring me to play gigs around town and later I went to Europe with LENI for several tours, clubs and festivals. Guitar-wise I guess I have been influenced one way or another by all the guys I respect. In that long list have to be TERRY HAGGERTY (The SONS OF CHAMPLIN), MICK GOODRICK, PAT METHENY, MIKE STERN, BILL FRISELL, KEVIN EUBANKS and JOHN SCOFIELD. Way off in the distance, the mountains that inspire all of us are JOHN MCLAUGHLIN and GEORGE BENSON; those are the guys that have taken their own the farthest. The immediate goal for me is to fulfill the promise of making my own music". In 1991 WAYNE KRANTZ released his first solo album, 'Signals', which included a number of well known session jazz musicians. He then formed his own trio with LINCOLN GOINES (bass) and ZACH DANZIGER (drums), recording 'Long To Be Loose' (1993), and the first of several live albums the excellent '2 Drink Minimum', (1995). During this period through to the mid noughties, WAYNE KRANTZ gained the reputation of being a New York guitar-fusionist, playing periodically at the 55 Bar jazz club in New York City. In 1996, KRANTZ released an acoustic album with LENI STERN, 'Separate Cages' (1996). WAYNE KRANTZ formed a new trio in 1997, which further demonstrated his outstanding guitar abilities complimented with a huge bag of jazz and rock riffs, allowing attractive improv to be played live night after night. In fact to use the term 'riffs' is far from precise when KRANTZ has outlined in his book, 'An Improviser's Operating System', his approach to improvisation, which relies not on licks or memorised fretboard patterns but an awareness of 'musical formulae' using the guitar. In doing so KRANTZ was producing new sounds that have changed his musical style drastically. His electric bass-player and drummer, respectively TIM LEFEBVRE and KEITH CARLOCK, contributed well the immediate inspiration and fluidity so that such live improv to be generated in many of KRANTZ's later albums well illustrate this type of jazz fusion. (It should be noted that TIM LEFEBVRE and ZACH DANZIGER, formed the innovative jazz drum'n'bass group BOOMISH as a side project in the late 90's - their second album 'Clearance Sale' includes contributions from KRANTZ and FRISELL. With some growing disillusionment and impatience with the mainstream record industry, KRANTZ's next three albums were produced and sold independently: 'Greenwich Mean' (1999), 'Your Basic Live' (2003), and 'Your Basic Live '06' (2007), being only available for sale at gigs or mail order via KRANTZ's website. During this time WAYNE KRANTZ cemented a well earned reputation worldwide, through tours (for instance appearing several times at Wales' Brecon Jazz Festival. In addition he has been in demand as a touring sidesman and session guitarist, working with STEELY DAN, MICHAEL BRECKER, DONALD FAGEN ('Morph The Cat', released 2006), CHRIS POTTER ('Underground', also in 2006), TAL WILKENFELD ('Tranformation' 2007) with perhaps the earliest session appearance on JASPER VAN'T HOF's 'Blue Corner'(1993). In June, 2007, KRANTZ played his last regular gig at the 55 Bar (at least for the time being), announcing ?he had a desire to move towards a louder thing requiring bigger rooms, with stages and sound systems to pull it off.?? However, the most recent announcement tells us of a August 2009 release 'Krantz, Lefevbre, Carlock', the first studio album recording in 13 years. (Biography compiled from various sources, quotes from Wayne Krantz). © Prog Archives, All rights reserved http://www.progarchives.com/artist.asp?id=4613


Leni Stern, who has received more recognition for her composing than her guitar playing, has managed to carve out her own musical personality despite being married to fellow guitarist Mike Stern (a potentially dominant influence). She began classical piano lessons when she was six, but was much more inspired a few years later when she discovered a guitar in the attic and taught herself to play jazz. Stern's early years were actually spent as an actress in her native Germany, featured on a national television show. However, she took a summer off in 1977 to enroll at Berklee, and she never returned to acting. Stern lived in Boston until 1980, moved to New York, and has worked steadily in clubs ever since, recording for Passport (now defunct), Enja, and Lipstick. Primarily an instrumentalist in the past, with 1997's Black Guitar she revealed her prowess as a vocalist, and began releasing a series of albums that mixed jazz, pop, and rock on her own LSR imprint, including Kindness of Strangers (2000), Finally the Rain Has Come (2002), When Evening Falls (2004), and Love Comes Quietly (2006). © Scott Yanow © 2012 Rovi Corp | All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/artist/leni-stern-mn0000242721


Leni Stern (born Magdalena Thora in Munich, Germany) is an electric guitarist, and singer. She was interested in music from an early age, beginning piano studies at the age of six and taking on the guitar age of eleven. Forming her own acting company at the age of seventeen, Stern attracted media attention and performed her radical productions in front of sold-out European crowds. In 1977, Stern chose music over acting, and left Germany for the United States to attend the Berklee College of Music in Boston, studying film scoring. She gave up film scoring in favor of the guitar and moved to New York City in 1981, playing in various rock and jazz bands. In 1983, she formed a band of her own with Paul Motian on drums and Bill Frisell on guitar. She has released twelve solo instrumental recordings, of which 1985's Clairvoyant was the first. Her most recent releases – Alu Maye, Africa, Spirit in the Water and Sa Belle Belle Ba – juxtapose Stern's trademark inventive guitar and vocal explorations with the indigenous sounds of accomplished African instrumentalists and singers. Her cover of Laura Nyro's song "Upstairs by a Chinese Lamp" appeared on Time and Love: The Music of Laura Nyro, the Laura Nyro tribute album. Leni Stern Recordings (LSR) was established in 1997. The record label seeks to put out music from the most creative artists in jazz and songwriting. LSR's first release was Stern's first full-length vocal release, Black Guitar. Ted Drozdowski of the Boston Phoenix described Stern's voice sounding "something like Marlene Dietrich borrowing Billie Holiday's phrasing." She is married to guitarist Mike Stern

1 comment:

A.O.O.F.C said...


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