DAVID SANBORN

Pop/Art Song/Folk / RnB / Post-Fusion Contemporary / Funk Jazz • United States
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David Sanborn (born July 30, 1945) is an American saxophonist, most commonly associated with smooth jazz and pop-jazz fusion, along with a slight rock 'n' roll/r and b style. He was born in Tampa, Florida and grew up in Kirkwood, Missouri.

Sanborn, who suffered from polio in his youth, has been a highly regarded session player since the mid 1970s. One of his first professional gigs was as a member of Paul Butterfield's band. One of Sanborn's earliest guest recordings was on David Bowie's Young Americans. Around this time his output as a session player became prolific and over the next ten years he played with a dazzling array of artists, such as Paul Simon, James Taylor (contributing to the remake of the Marvin Gaye classic "How Sweet It Is"), The Rolling Stones, The Eagles and Stevie Wonder.

In the late 1980s he was a regular guest member of Paul
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DAVID SANBORN Discography

DAVID SANBORN albums / top albums

DAVID SANBORN Taking Off album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Taking Off
Pop/Art Song/Folk 1975
DAVID SANBORN David Sanborn album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
David Sanborn
Pop/Art Song/Folk 1976
DAVID SANBORN Promise Me The Moon album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Promise Me The Moon
Pop/Art Song/Folk 1977
DAVID SANBORN Heart to Heart album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Heart to Heart
Pop/Art Song/Folk 1978
DAVID SANBORN Hideaway album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Hideaway
Pop/Art Song/Folk 1980
DAVID SANBORN Voyeur album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Voyeur
Pop/Art Song/Folk 1981
DAVID SANBORN As We Speak album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
As We Speak
Pop/Art Song/Folk 1982
DAVID SANBORN Backstreet album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Backstreet
Pop/Art Song/Folk 1983
DAVID SANBORN Straight to the Heart album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Straight to the Heart
Pop/Art Song/Folk 1984
DAVID SANBORN A Change of Heart album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
A Change of Heart
Pop/Art Song/Folk 1987
DAVID SANBORN Close-Up album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Close-Up
Pop/Art Song/Folk 1988
DAVID SANBORN Another Hand album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Another Hand
Post-Fusion Contemporary 1991
DAVID SANBORN Upfront album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Upfront
Pop/Art Song/Folk 1992
DAVID SANBORN Hearsay album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Hearsay
Funk Jazz 1994
DAVID SANBORN Pearls album cover 3.75 | 2 ratings
Pearls
Pop/Art Song/Folk 1995
DAVID SANBORN Songs From the Night Before album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Songs From the Night Before
Pop/Art Song/Folk 1996
DAVID SANBORN Inside album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Inside
Pop/Art Song/Folk 1999
DAVID SANBORN Timeagain album cover 3.75 | 2 ratings
Timeagain
Pop/Art Song/Folk 2003
DAVID SANBORN Closer album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Closer
Pop/Art Song/Folk 2004
DAVID SANBORN Here and Gone album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Here and Gone
Pop/Art Song/Folk 2008
DAVID SANBORN Only Everything album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Only Everything
Pop/Art Song/Folk 2010
DAVID SANBORN Time & The River album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Time & The River
RnB 2015

DAVID SANBORN EPs & splits

DAVID SANBORN live albums

DAVID SANBORN demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

DAVID SANBORN re-issues & compilations

DAVID SANBORN The Best of David Sanborn album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Best of David Sanborn
Pop/Art Song/Folk 1994
DAVID SANBORN Love Songs album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Love Songs
Pop/Art Song/Folk 1995
DAVID SANBORN Sanborn Best ! : Dreaming Girl album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Sanborn Best ! : Dreaming Girl
Pop/Art Song/Folk 1996
DAVID SANBORN The Essentials album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
The Essentials
Pop/Art Song/Folk 2002
DAVID SANBORN Then Again, The David Sanborn Anthology album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Then Again, The David Sanborn Anthology
RnB 2012
DAVID SANBORN This Masquerade album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
This Masquerade
Pop/Art Song/Folk 2018

DAVID SANBORN singles (0)

DAVID SANBORN movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

DAVID SANBORN Reviews

DAVID SANBORN Hearsay

Album · 1994 · Funk Jazz
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Chicapah
This album is more along the lines of what I expected from David Sanborn as a solo artist. The first record of his that I heard, however, wasn’t. It was his surprising “Another Hand” from 1991 wherein he gathered up a contingent of legendary jazz musicians and took part in making a record of music that honored their craft and their heritage splendidly. “Hearsay” is much more contemporary in nature but it’s no dog, either. What this tells me is that Sanborn can adapt to any style as easily as a chameleon changes skin color and that his central aim is to maintain a lofty standard of excellence. There’s an art to creating light jazz fare that doesn’t end up being so predictable that it bores you to tears and I’m happy to report that this album avoids that pitfall by being consistently lively and by including a great deal of variety.

He opens with the invigorating “Savanna.” It rides atop a striding funk groove supplanted by Ricky Peterson’s growling Hammond B3 organ, one of my favorite instruments of all time. Its signature ambience is featured in abundance throughout the proceedings and that alone makes “Hearsay” a fine listening experience. David’s saxophone is crystal clear and cuts cleanly like a knife through butter. The subtle horn section he employs here and there as well as the song’s tactful percussion breakdown keeps things on the up and up. I especially like its upwardly mobile key changes and the track’s consistent energy level. “The Long Goodbye” is the apex of the disc. Its soft, bluesy jazz feel and the sneaky B3 lurking in the background are hypnotic. The tune’s depth of field is warm and dreamy yet the number never gets lazy due to timely and punchy accentuations. The melody’s large-scale presence is powerful and seductive. The aggressive shuffle drummer Steve Jordan applies to “Little Face” is hard to ignore and once again the Hammond’s distinctive aura gives it a regal glow. The song’s crisp big band atmosphere will have you tapping your toes and the interplay between Sanborn’s expressive sax and Robben Ford’s top-notch rock/blues guitarisms are exhilarating.

“Got to Give it Up” is like walking into a festive party in full swing. An unpretentious, carefree attitude inhabits this number and it’s the kind of song that can lift you from even the sourest of moods. Nothing complex to be found here, just a bouncy jam that’s more than dance-worthy. “Jaws,” with its strong funk foundation, brings to mind the Headhunters in a respectful way but Peterson’s sensuous B3 fills up the spaces and allows the track to develop its own personality. Marcus Miller’s bass guitar work is commendable and David smartly opts to not overplay his hand, choosing to be more of an aural overseer who adds flavors to the mix only when called for. “Mirage” is sultry, sexy and slightly mysterious with Latin percussion and dense keyboards distinguishing the tune. The number flows smoothly and possesses an undeniable Herbie Hancock hue that gives it a cool elegance.

“Big Foot” has a slight techno-funk coloring that sets it apart from what’s come before. The sizzling guitar injections give this song some oomph and the charms of the multipurpose Hammond organ are exploited expertly to provide an amiable backdrop. Miller’s popping bass lines boost the momentum repeatedly. “Back to Memphis” utilizes a beefy R&B drive to get its point across and I half expected Al Green to jump into the fray at any moment. The tune’s arrangement, the superb engineering and the deft mix one finds here are all of the highest order so I recommend that you just sit back and enjoy the track’s excellence without over-analyzing it. He ends with “Ojiji,” a real change of pace. A generous dash of hot Brazilian spice supports this unusual piece and it’s further bolstered by a very enthusiastic rhythm section. More so than at any other time on the album, Sanborn doesn’t try to stay as under control and cuts loose with some spirited sax spasms that’ll tickle your eardrums.

While “Hearsay” won’t bowl anybody over it won’t send discriminating jazzers running for the exits, either. It maintains an impeccable air of professionalism gleaned through years of experience on the part of everyone involved but that’s to be expected. What makes it such a pleasant record to listen to and separates it from the run-of-the-mill is, as always, the caliber of the material presented. The nine cuts are all good songs and each one has something unique to offer so it makes it difficult to say anything negative about the album. Well done.

DAVID SANBORN Another Hand

Album · 1991 · Post-Fusion Contemporary
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Chicapah
Man, ya think ya know someone… To be more to the point I erroneously assumed (and you know what that word breaks down to) that since David Sanborn has the somewhat dubious label of “pop jazzer” pinned to his back that his entire library of work would be akin to that of, say, the slick-as-Valvoline presentations of Tom Scott and the L.A. Express or, heaven forbid, Kenny G. The fact of the matter is that I’d never sat down to listen to any of his albums and was unfairly judging him by the snippets I’d heard of his playing here and there rather than what he’d created on his own initiative. I knew there was an impressive and lengthy roster of people and groups his alto saxophone had been summoned by in order to sweeten their musical concoctions such as David Bowie, James Taylor and the Eagles (his passionate solo on the latter’s terrific song, “The Sad Café,” still conjures goose bumps decades down the line) but none of those acts are what I’d call jazz-related by any stretch. I recently came into possession of a trio of Sanborn’s solo efforts and finally got around to giving one of them a hearing. It was only by chance that I chose “Another Hand” to start with but it certainly did a thorough job of completely changing my perception of him. To say I was surprised by how jazzy it is would be a gross understatement. I was floored.

After picking myself up off the hardwood of my den I did a little investigating and learned that this record was his debut on Electra after many years with Warner Brothers and his intent was to break out of the stifling mold that folks like me had him pigeonholed in and display to the world where his heart of hearts did lie. He succeeded on a grand scale. What I was expecting to hear was some sort of boring cream puff elevator muzak but what I got was a lot of superb, adventurous and high-quality jazz that held my attention from the initial cut to the finale. (A quick note concerning the review: There are several musicians listed in most of the instrument categories so I can’t be sure of anyone’s individual role with the exception of David. Two legends that stick out are drummer Jack DeJohnette and bassist Charlie Haden.)

The aptly-titled “First Song” is a slow-paced, haunting number that excelled in catching me completely off guard. Sanborn’s aromatic tone is strong but not overpowering and the impressive guitar lines are silky smooth as a new kimono. Together they move delicately yet decisively through this intriguing piece. The sultry opening for “Monica Jane” soon escalates, turning it into an entertaining, sleazy deal that brings to mind ladies of the night lined up garter to garter in the red light district of your local metropolis. The strip-club-worthy melody is sufficiently authentic but it’s the delightfully loose drumming that properly sets the mood. “Come to Me, Nina” is next and its flowing, wonderfully atmospheric demeanor is gently propelled by subtle congas. David’s sax and the piano are both fabulous and cohesively they paint a beautiful aural picture. “Hobbies” follows and its nostalgic, swinging 60s rhythm track is highly infectious and wholly engaging. It’s a lighthearted song but its arrangement is far from being predictable. The song’s odd yet catchy melody line and the inescapable playful attitude it possesses in spades efficiently sells it. The calm, serene aura the musicians manufacture to surround “Another Hand” is relaxing without gutting its personality and peddling it to the lowest common denomination of ears. This is primo jazz being presented here and it caused me to chastise myself for so ignorantly underestimating Mr. Sanborn’s acumen for so long.

While the second half of the album isn’t as exciting it’s still a far cry from the mundane schlock I’d anticipated. “Jesus” is an eclectic little tune that has a slight air of Americana enveloping it but in a very good way. It’s the kind of thing that the ever-interesting Bela Fleck shines at doing. “Weird (from One Step Beyond)” owns a dreamy, urban and Gershwin-ish flavor that’s mysteriously enticing as the musicians build around it an honest yet intoxicating mood. The tempo picks up a tad for “Cee” via a light samba feel but David doesn’t give in to the enticing but restricting Latin groove entirely, opting to keep the studio cats nibbling on the fringe and staying tantalizingly aloof of the beat. Next comes “Medley: Prayers for Charlie from the Devil at Four O’clock/The Lonely,” the most complex cut on the disc. As the title suggests, this is more “out there” than what’s come before, starting with the upright bass and jazzy trap kit taking a more prominent role. After an inventive, abstract segment midway through a horn section enters to alter the entire complexion of the number and keep the listener on his/her toes. It’s very free-form at times but, although I like it fine, it does seem a bit out of place on this record. Sanborn ends with “Dukes and Counts,” another sedate yet in no way sleep-inducing song that relies heavily on David’s expressive saxophone and some gorgeous piano playing. I can’t say enough about the lofty level of musicianship I encountered throughout this album and this closing tune is no exception. It is exquisite.

I’m enough of a realist to understand that many of David’s records may, indeed, fall into the contemporary easy-listening AOR genre that I presumed he would be partial to and that this could well be his apex. That remains to be seen and heard. If so, I’m thankful I started here because “Another Hand” is no limp-wristed, gratuitous greeting at the door of a stuffy, formal dinner party full of phonies. It’s ten slices of exemplary cool jazz that I’d be proud to spin for any aficionado of the idiom. I’m too far along in years to be embarrassed over being mistaken about someone’s art so I unashamedly announce to the population of the jazz universe that I was wrong about David Sanborn. He most definitely has the soul of a jazzer and he lays it out for public display on “Another Hand.”

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