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Reviewers: Don Mather, Dick Stafford, Marc Bridle, John Eyles, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke, Jack Ashby


David Sanborn


Verve 0044006557823

  1. Comin’ Home Baby
  2. Cristo Redentor
  3. Harlem Nocturne
  4. Man From Mars
  5. Isn’t She Lovely
  6. Sugar
  7. Tequila
  8. Little Flower
  9. Spider b
  10. Delia

Steve Gadd – Drums
Christian McBride – Bass
Russell Malone – Guitar
Mike Maineri - Vibes
Don Alias – Percussion
Some tracks have backing vocals, some have strings and Randy Brecker plays trumpet and flugel on Spider b

As preparation for this review, I read Mark Gilbert’s entry in the very useful Roy Carr book ‘Jazz on CD’, but found it hard to understand ‘prepostmodern’ speak leaves me cold. So I decided to just listen to the music and say what I thought about it.

It is a well known fact that whilst most jazz musicians struggle to make any sort of living, those who can keep a foot on the ‘pop’ market as well can end up both richly rewarded and appreciated by a much wider audience. David Sandborn is one of the well-educated younger jazz folk who have managed their career very well; he is however in his 50’s described as a ‘veteran’ by some people. He plays the alto with much feeling and there is a nice ‘bluesy’ sound about everything he plays, even when he is performing in the kind of music we mostly hear from Jazz FM, there is still plenty of conviction about his playing. Steve Gadd Christian McBride Russell Malone and Mike Mainieri are an ideal foil for the leader, the seem to be able to anticipate his every phrase and this total empathy in the group makes the various tunes in the programme so attractive. Even the older tunes like Harlem Nocturne and Isn’t She Lovely and Tequila take on a new shape in their hands.

In the sleeve note David says that he has never only listened to one kind of music and that to his mind, good music is good music, whatever the genre. This resistance to typecasting also makes good commercial sense because it gives you more options.

As you would expect from what has been written above then the tune selection is eclectic, David composed Little Flower and Delia, and he also jointly is credited with Spider b with Ricky Peterson. Man From mars is a Joni Mitchell composition and tenor sax player Stanley Turrentine wrote Sugar.

There is no doubt of the quality of musicianship on this album, it is top-class throughout, for my taste however, I wish it would just cut loose and swing occasionally as I’m sure these guys are well capable of doing so. Many however will disagree and overall the album has much to commend it.

Don Mather


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