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It would not be hard to accuse Here & Gone of being commercially contrived. The disk features a 'prominent musician' playing duets with other prominent musicians. This is not exactly a new formula, but considering that the 'prominent musician' in question is David Sanbornand that he duets with the likes of Eric Clapton, Derek Trucks, and Wallace Roneyinterest must be piqued at least a little.
Say the name Dave Sanborn, and the late baby boomer listener will immediately identify him with the wailing R&B alto saxophone that closed every Saturday Night Live episode in the late '70s. His slightly off-center embouchure and distinctive alto sound has made him a sought after soloist for his entire career.
On Here & Gone, Sanborn is grounded by the rhythm section of bassist Christian McBride, drummer Steve Gadd, and guitarist Russell Malone with keyboard support from Gil Goldstein and Ricky Petersonnot too shabby at all. Add a horn section that includes Lou Marini, Lew Soloff, and Howard Johnson and decent performances can only be expected and that is what is delivered.
Disk highlights include retro-spars with trumpeter Wallace Roney on "St. Louis Blues" and trumpeter Lew Soloff on "Basin Street Blues." After that swing through Satch-land, Sanborn tips his hat to Ray Charles, goining forces with two of today's finest guitar players; slide guitar ace Derek Trucks for a Southern tasty "Brother Ray," and Eric Clapton for "I'm Gonna Move to the Outskirts of Town." Both guitarists ply their distinctive wares abundantly. Trucks extends the language of the late Duane Allman, while Clapton plays tastefully understated, allowing his unique blues singing to do the talking.
For the leader's part, Sanborn is in fine R&B wailing form, acknowledging his debt to the other focus of this record, Hank Crawford. Sanborn's voice instantly recognizable. He is appropriately emotive on Percy Mayfield's "Please Send Me Someone to Love," and it is in this company that David Sanborn should be heard.
Track Listing: St. Louis Blues; Brother Ray; I'm Gonna Move to the Outskirts of Town; Basin Street Blues; Stoney Lonesome; I Believe to My Soul; What Will I Tell My Heart?; Please Send Me Someone to Love; I've Got News for You.
Personnel: David Sanborn: alto saxophone; Eric Clapton: vocals (3), guitar (3); Joss Stone: vocals (6); Sam Moore: vocals (9); Christian McBride: bass; Steve Gadd: drums; Russell Malone: guitar; Derek Trucks: guitar (2); Anthony Wilson: guitar solo (5); Ricky Peterson: Hammond B3 (2, 6, 8, 9); Gil Goldstein: keyboards (1, 2, 4, 6, 8), Hammond B3 (2); Howard Johnson: baritone sax; Charles Pillow: bass clarinet (1-4, 6, 9); John Moses: bass clarinet (5, 7, 8); Mike Davis: tenor trombone; Lou Marini: tenor sax; Keyon Harrold: trumpet; Lew Soloff: trumpet (1, 4, 6, 9); Wallace Roney: trumpet solo (1).
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.