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Joe Beck & David Sanborn: Beck and Sanborn

AAJ Staff By

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When I picked up this CD, I thought "Wow, Jeff Beck and David Sanborn, what an odd match." Well, Beck and Sanborn actually refers to Joe Beck, so at least I was 50% right. While I hadn't been a Joe Beck fan (and I don't have any of his other releases) I do like his brassy tone and aggressive approach—distorted archtop with heavy gauge strings (what was this guy playing?). The saxophone work is especially nice because this is Sanborn before he was Sanborn, back when we were only beginning to hear his saxophone on NBC every Saturday Night. The whole thing is grooving and powerful.

The lineup on the album is also worth noting. Outside of Beck and Sanborn, there is a section of violinists: Harry Lookofsky, David Nadien, Charles Libove, Joseph Malin, Frederick Buldrini, Harry Cykman, Peter Dimitriades, Max Ellen, and Harold Kohon; and Cellists: Jesse Levy, George Ricci, and Charles McCracken; guitarist Steve Khan; WIll Lee (bass); Chris Parker (drums); Ray Mantilla (percussion); and the highlight-the late, outstanding talent, Don Grolnick on keyboards.

Grolnick is the hidden star on this release. If your a Sanborn fan you'll like it, but it's not his usual pyrotechnics. The Sanborn tone and style is there, but there's more fusion playing. Beck is solid and does his stuff. Grolnick on the other hand, lays down some nice, rich, tasty, effected Rhodes on these tracks. Though he rarely steps out front on these tracks, you know he's there. In addition, several of the tracks are Grolnick's compositions including the now classic "Cactus."

Title: Beck and Sanborn | Year Released: 1996 | Record Label: Sony-Legacy Music

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