Leni Stern,
Finally the Rain Has Come
(self-produced, 2002)

Leni Stern's albums of guitar-based jazz-pop have always resonated brightly and suggested crisply rendered emotions. Finally the Rain Has Come, her 13th album, particularly scintillates with the accentuating tablas and other ethnic percussion of Zakir Hussain.

Other giant talents participating on this album are guitarists Bill Frisell and John McLaughlin (also adding world sounds) along with Michael Brecker on tenor saxophone, drummer Keith Carlock (of Steely Dan) and bassist/loop programmer Paul Socolow (from the David Byrne Band). This is Leni's first album after Sept. 11 and was recorded the following month, October 2001. Some of Leni's reaction can be felt in "Where is God" and "For Peace to Come."

Named Gibson Female Guitarist of the Year five consecutive times, Leni has long moved past the more purely jazz instrumental albums of her early career into shimmering, warm and compelling songs.

[ by Tom Schulte ]
Rambles: 26 October 2002

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