CD Pearls [David Sanborn] (CD 395790),
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Pearls [David Sanborn]
1. Willow Weep for Me
2. Try a Little Tenderness
3. Smoke Gets in Your Eyes
5. For All We Know
6. Come Rain or Come Shine
7. This Masquerade
8. Everything Must Change
10. Nobody Does It Better
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 61759
Johnny Mandel; Tommy LiPuma
Joe Ferla; Joe Pirrera; Al Schmitt; Greg Pinto; Carl Glanville
Personnel: David Sanborn (alto saxophone); Oleta Adams (vocals, keyboards); Jimmy Scott (vocals); Don Grolnick, Kenny Barron (keyboards); Christian McBride (acoustic bass); Mark Egan (fretless bass); Marcus Miller (bass); Steve Gadd (drums); Don Alias (percussion).
Recorded in New York.
Alto saxophonist David Sanborn has been among the most recognizable solo voices in American popular music since his '70s breakthroughs with Stevie Wonder and David Bowie. Sanborn's big, garrulous tone and acidic attack recall some of the greatest players to walk the line between R&B and jazz, people like David "Fathead" Newman, Hank Crawford and Louis Jordan. But for all his considerable commercial success as a top session man and contemporary jazz star, Sanborn has never been content to simply tarry with the tried and true. In that spirit, his resume also includes such adventurous fare as his sideman work on Tim Berne's 1993 session, DIMINUTIVE MYSTERIES (MOSTLY HEMPHILL).
With PEARLS, Sanborn has stepped up in class to make the kind of elegant, lyrical saxophone recital his talent always promised he had in him. And as Christian McBride's huge acoustic bass and Steve Gadd's whispering drums emerge from the dark landscape of Johnny Mandel's sweeping romantic charts on "Willow Weep For Me," it's clear that Sanborn is at the top of his game. Each note is burnished in amber, as his expressive trademark vibrato shades his alto lines with taut vocal urgency, even as his piping tone ascends to places few vocalists dare to tread (as in the concluding passages to "Everything Must Change").
And on those tracks where Sanborn teams up with vocalists, the expressive timbre of his horn is set off in sharp relief. Jimmy Scott's halting, teardrop vibrato adds a note of lonely desperation to "For All We Know," as Sanborn answers with Bird-like phrases; and Oleta Adams teams up with the saxophonist to transform Carole Bayer Sager/Marvin Hamlisch's "Nobody Does It Better" into a fervent gospel testimony.
Personnel: David Sanborn (alto saxophone); Oleta Adams (vocals, keyboards); Little Jimmy Scott (vocals); Don Grolnick, Kenny Barron (keyboards); Christian McBride (acoustic bass); Marcus Miller (bass guitar); Mark Eagan (fretless bass); Steve Gadd (drums); Don Alias (percussion).
Audio Mixer: Joe Ferla.
Recording information: NY, NY.
Photographer: Mark Malabrigo.
Arrangers: Eddie Martinez; Johnny Mandel.
David Sanborn is joined on this CD by an orchestra arranged by Johnny Mandel for a set of music dominated by melodic versions of standards. Sanborn does not get all that far away from the themes (which include "Try a Little Tenderness," "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes," "For All We Know," "This Masquerade" and a very emotional "Everything Must Change" in addition to a few newer songs) but his sound is so soulful and full of passion that he does not really need to improvise much to make his point. It's a fine change of pace for the highly influential altoist. ~ Scott Yanow
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Elektra (Label) 7559617592
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