Magazine article Guitar Player

SONGCRAFT Leni Stern

Magazine article Guitar Player

SONGCRAFT Leni Stern

Article excerpt

Since the mid '80s, Leni Stern has been "one of the cats," performing and recording with many of the top players on the New York jazz scene. Her consistently impressive work has scored her the Gibson Award for Best Female Jazz Guitarist five years running.

The awards came at an interesting point in Stern's career, as it was about five years ago that she began writing and recording songs with lyrics--tunes that have as much in common with the work of Joni Mitchell and Richard Thompson as with jazz. The change in focus has proven musically fruitful for Stern, as the lessons she learned during her jazz studies have juiced her songwriting, and studying songcraft has refreshed her perspective on jazz.

--ADAM LEVY

"When I studied with jazz guitarist Mick Goodrick, he had me do an amazing exercise where you record a minute of improvising every day, and you're not allowed to listen to what you've recorded for a week," says Stern. …

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