Leni Stern looks back on 13 years of a brilliant recorded legacy with Recollection, her tenth release as a leader and second for her own label. As well as featuring vintage material like an intimate duet with Bill Frisell from 1985's Clairvoyant, a track with David Sanborn from 1989's Closer To The Light and her boldest playing in the company of Dennis Chambers, Wayne Krantz and Lincoln Goines from 1991's Ten Songs, Recollection also includes new material that showcases her new more revealing vocal- oriented direction.
Leni Stern had grown considerably as a soloist by the time she recorded her fourth album, Closer to the Light. The jazz/pop/rock guitarist already had a very recognizable sound – light, lyrical, and definitely Pat Metheny-influenced, yet distinctively her own. But with Light, her improvising sounded more confident and assured. Stern's sympathetic company includes David Sanborn (alto sax), Paul Socolow (bass), Dennis Chambers (drums), and fellow guitarist Wayne Krantz (with whom she has often joined forces). Stern and Krantz seem an unlikely combination – in contrast to her subtlety and softness, Krantz can be very muscular, and has made the mistake of overpowering her at times. But that's never a problem on this generally relaxed date, which offers additional proof of Stern's thoughtfulness as a composer.