Local Wire

David Sanborn

There is little doubt that saxophonist David Sanborn has earned his place in music history through his many collaborations as a sideman with the likes of The Rolling Stones, Elton John, and David Bowie. On his latest disc, he revisits the blues that influenced him early on, via the work of fellow saxophonist Hank Crawford, Ray Charles' musical director until 1963. The disc opens with "St. Louis Blues," which grabs the listener's attention through Sanborn's sexy approach and the clever rhythm section of bassist Christian McBride and drummer Steve Gadd. Eric Clapton guests on "I'm Gonna Move to the Outskirts of Town," a 1930s-era 12-bar blues tune previously recorded by Louis Jordan and B.B. King. Here Sanborn is mostly in the background, adding riffs alongside Clapton's voice and solos. Another highlight is the standard "Basin Street Blues," which receives a more straightforward blues treatment here that differs sharply from the stomp arrangements used by Dixieland bands. While Here & Gone may be perceived by some as an update on old standards, it is in fact Sanborn's personal tribute to the sounds that made his early career, and in one way or another, developed his musical chops — and we are glad to follow his story.
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Ernest Barteldes