Featuring: David Sanborn (as), Larry Goldings (p, org), Gil Goldstein (el p, accordion on 8), Mike Mainieri (vib), Russell Malone (g), Christian McBride (b), Steve Gadd (d), Luis Quintero (perc), Lizz Wright (vcl)
BAR CODE: 6009143130739
Saxophonist and composer David Sanborn has always been a maverick. A top-notch technician, he has always imbued his playing with deep emotion — indeed, that emotional element in his playing has been his signature since he began leading his own bands on record in the 70s. He has wed modern jazz sophistication to the smooth jazz groove for many years now, and has followed his muse while remaining a commercially viable artist. Closer is another exercise in ambition for Sanborn and his sidemen. They include bassist Christian McBride, guitarist Russell Malone, Larry Goldings on electric piano and organ, vibist Mike Manieri, and drummer Steve Gadd, among others. The material is a fine collection of pop tunes, standards, and surprises from the jazz canon. Sanborn's read of Abdullah Ibrahim's "Capetown Fringe" carries within it the joy and dignity of Ibrahim's original and proves to the public something Sanborn has been aware of all along — that the composer's music is truly accessible to the masses. Underscore this for the album's opener, a smoking little groove read of Gil Fuller and Chano Pozo's "Tin Tin Deo." Horace Silver's "Enchantment" and "Señor" are given fine finger-popping treatments, as are the stellar standards "Ballad of the Sad Young Men," "You Must Believe in Spring," and the beautiful "Poinciana." There is a lovely version of Charlie Chaplin's "Smile" here, given chamber orchestra treatment. Sanborn contributes a pair as well, in the silvery ballad "Another Time, Another Place" and the album's closer, the haunting "Sofia," with a fine string and horn treatment by Gil Goldstein. Once more, Sanborn has wed his commercial and creative aspirations into a thoroughly engaging whole.
Thom Jurek - AMG
01. Tin Tin Deo (6:19)
02. Señor Blues (5:09)
03. Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight (6:08)
04. Smile (3:52)
05. Enchantment (4:28)
06. Ballad of the Sad Young Men (4:01)
07. Another Time, Another Place (6:05)
08. Capetown Fringe (3:25)
09. Poinciana (6:03)
10. You Must Believe in Spring (3:50)
11. Sofia (3:45)
Recorded and mixed at Right Track Studios, New York City in 2004. Produced by Stewart Levine.
Grover Washington Jr.