Veteran alto sax master David Sanborn has played a crucial role in establishing the sound of contemporary jazz and instrumental pop. In his remarkable three-and-a-half-decade recording and...Expand
Veteran alto sax master David Sanborn has played a crucial role in establishing the sound of contemporary jazz and instrumental pop. In his remarkable three-and-a-half-decade recording and performing career, he's consistently embodied the dual ideals of virtuosity and versatility, revealing a one-of-a-kind talent on his own much-loved releases while building a singularly impressive resume that includes work with everyone from Gil Evans to Bruce Springsteen.
The sense of open-minded adventurousness that's helped to make David Sanborn a musical icon is prominent on Closer, which follows his acclaimed 2003 Verve debut Timeagain. The new album once again teams Sanborn with Timeagain's producer, Stewart Levine, along with an all-star assortment of musicians including Larry Goldings (electric piano, organ), Gil Goldstein (electric piano, accordion), Mike Mainieri (vibraphone), Russell Malone (guitar), Christian McBride (bass), Steve Gadd (drums), Luis Quintero (percussion) and Bob Sheppard (saxophones), as well as Sanborn's Verve labelmate Lizz Wright, who contributes a compelling guest vocal on a memorable reading of James Taylor's "Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight." Closer's ten instrumental tracks cover a typically eclectic range of musical and emotional modes, from the buoyant tropical vibe of "Tin Tin Deo" to the fluid lushness of "Poinciana" to the late-night introspection of "Ballad of the Sad Young Men," to the arresting intimacy of the Sanborn originals "Sofia" and "Another Time, Another Place." Elsewhere on the 11-track collection, the artist offers distinctive interpretations of Abdullah Ibrahim/Dollar Brand's "Capetown Fringe" and the Horace Silver classics "Senor Blues" and "Enchantment," and a poignant reading of the classic Charlie Chaplin standard "Smile."
"There's an old expression," Sanborn points out, "called 'Getting a little house,' which refers to using a flashy trick to get the crowd to go nuts, like jumping up on the bar or playing a really fast lick or holding a note for a really long time. That's an easy trap to fall into, going for the quick fix, and we're all guilty of it. But as time goes on, I'm less and less interested in that kind of thing and more concerned with just making the kind of music that feels the most real to me. To me, that's what Closer is about."