STICK MEN

Jazz Related Rock • United States
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Stick Men is an American progressive rock supergroup founded in 2007 by Pat Mastelotto, Tony Levin, and Michael Bernier. Since 2010, the lineup stabilized around Mastelotto, Levin, and Markus Reuter. The band was formed as a vehicle for progressive rock music performed almost exclusively with Chapman Sticks and drums.

In 2007, Levin released a solo album entitled Stick Man, consisting of pieces recorded on the Chapman Stick, featuring his King Crimson bandmate Pat Mastelotto on drums. This then led to the formation of the band Stick Men by Mastelotto, Levin and Chapman Stick player Michael Bernier. The band released its first album Soup in 2010. Bernier left shortly after the release of Soup, to be replaced by Markus Reuter in early August 2010.

The new lineup released the CD Absalom, in 2011, and an album of improvisations, Open, in June 2012. A studio album titled Deep was released in February 2013. There
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STICK MEN Discography

STICK MEN albums / top albums

STICK MEN Soup album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Soup
Jazz Related Rock 2010
STICK MEN Open album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Open
Jazz Related Rock 2012
STICK MEN Deep album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Deep
Jazz Related Rock 2013
STICK MEN Prog Noir album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Prog Noir
Jazz Related Rock 2016
STICK MEN Scored Play Alongs album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Scored Play Alongs
Jazz Related Rock 2016

STICK MEN EPs & splits

STICK MEN Absalom album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Absalom
Jazz Related Rock 2011

STICK MEN live albums

STICK MEN Power Play album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Power Play
Jazz Related Rock 2014
STICK MEN Stick Men+ : Japan 2015 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Stick Men+ : Japan 2015
Jazz Related Rock 2015
STICK MEN Unleashed (Live Improvs 2013) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Unleashed (Live Improvs 2013)
Jazz Related Rock 2015
STICK MEN Midori - Live in Tokyo 2015 - First Show album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Midori - Live in Tokyo 2015 - First Show
Jazz Related Rock 2015
STICK MEN Midori - Live In Tokyo 2015 - Second Show album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Midori - Live In Tokyo 2015 - Second Show
Jazz Related Rock 2015
STICK MEN Roppongi - Live in Tokyo 2017, Show 1 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Roppongi - Live in Tokyo 2017, Show 1
Jazz Related Rock 2017
STICK MEN Roppongi - Live in Tokyo 2017, Show 2 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Roppongi - Live in Tokyo 2017, Show 2
Jazz Related Rock 2017
STICK MEN Stick Men featuring David Cross : Panamerica - Live in Latin America album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Stick Men featuring David Cross : Panamerica - Live in Latin America
Jazz Related Rock 2019
STICK MEN With Gary Husband : Owari album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
With Gary Husband : Owari
Jazz Related Rock 2020

STICK MEN demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

STICK MEN Stick Men album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Stick Men
Jazz Related Rock 2009

STICK MEN re-issues & compilations

STICK MEN Supercollider: An Anthology 2010-2014 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Supercollider: An Anthology 2010-2014
Jazz Related Rock 2014
STICK MEN Stick Men + : Midori album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Stick Men + : Midori
Jazz Related Rock 2016

STICK MEN singles (0)

STICK MEN movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

STICK MEN Reviews

STICK MEN With Gary Husband : Owari

Live album · 2020 · Jazz Related Rock
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js
Although already powerful enough in their original trio format, as of late Stick Men have been augmenting their line up with special guests. Such is the case on their new live album, “Owari”, where they are joined by well known fusion keyboardist Gary Husband, who has been showing up on albums by artists such as John McLaughlin, Alan Holdsworth, Jack Bruce and many others. Gary makes for an excellent addition to the band as he blends in effortlessly as if he has been with this group from the beginning. This recording turned out to be a very special one time performance as the band’s planned one month tour of East Asia got reduced by Covid concerns to just one show in Nagoya Japan. The end result is a band very hyped and in focus for this one time happening, and the excitement and adrenaline come through on this very well produced live recording.

As usual, Stck Men are wearing their King Crimson influences unashamedly on their sleeve as they launch into well composed prog rock with plenty of metal and Euro funk flavors that recall KC at their best, particularly albums like “Starless and Bible Black” and the live “USA”. When the band launches into “Larks Tongue in Aspic Part II” it sounds so natural you will find yourself assuming it was going to come up anyway. Most of these heavy syncopated rocking tracks are instrumental, but Tony Levin takes the vocal mic on “Prog Noir”. Tony has a great natural voice and you have to wonder why he didn’t get the vocal job in KC over the somewhat nasal Adrian Belew. Along with the rock numbers you also get a few ambient improvisations. Some of these are better than others, but the best is the dark crawl of “Swimming in T”, on which the band really locks into a one mind performance.

I was a little surprised that there was not as much soloing from either Markus Reuter or Gary Husband as I would have expected, both are capable of hair raising fusion style onslaughts, but I suppose a tight ensemble sound was the goal here, and to that end they succeeded in a big way. “Owari” is one of the best prog rock albums for 2020, and it also has plenty of cross-over appeal to fans of modern jazz fusion and interesting instrumental music in general.

STICK MEN Stick Men + : Midori

Boxset / Compilation · 2016 · Jazz Related Rock
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
js
Apparently the new CD by the Stick Men +, “Midori”, will not be sold in stores or through online outlets, instead, its only available through the MoonJune label and the band’s live shows. It only takes one listen to understand why, although the music from the two live concerts on here is mostly good, something went wrong with the recording levels, or the post-production, and the end result is music that is not mixed very well. It’s hard to tell where things got off, but overall, Markus Reuter’s guitar is mixed too low, and Pat Mastelotto’s drums and percussion are mixed too high, add to that a general murkiness with everything else and you end up with a spirited performance struggling to be heard.

The original Stick Men already have many ties to jazz-rock legends King Crimson, what with two band members having served time in KC, and many cover tunes from the KC catalog in their set list, but when you add ex-KC violinist David Cross to the band to become Stick Men +, its practically a KC band under a different name, which of course is not a bad thing. The music on here is quite good and encompasses many ambient and groove driven improvs, plus some original tunes, several KC cover tunes and in a big surprise, a brilliant re-orchestration of sections from Stravinsky’s “Firebird”. This track in particular deserves a much better recording, its hard to believe only four people are handling all of these interweaving parts.

Fans of the Stick Men, as well as various post-KC ‘Projekts’, may be able to overlook the sound issues and enjoy all the great music on here, but first time listeners should probably start with something else. In closing though, it should be pointed out that the biggest plus on here is a just return for David Cross to reap his share of the KC legacy to which he is an under-rated contributor. When KC re-invented their sound on “Larks Tongues in Aspic”, David Cross was a big part of that. Unfortunately his more intricate contributions were soon literally muscled out of the band by John Wetton’s massive bass sound and stadium rock sensibilities. Once Cross was out of the band, the resultant KC album, “Red”, featured a big powerful stadium type sound, but it was low on compositional ideas and was dull and repetitive compared to previous KC efforts. Needless to say, that album was a swan song for a dying band. So in short, its great to see David take his rightful place back on stage playing classic songs he helped create, plus some new things as well.

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