Closer

Closer

4.0 1
by David Sanborn
     
 
As he has done on innumerable occasions, David Sanborn frames his trademark blues-drenched sound with a swath of irresistible rolling grooves on Closer, his second Verve offering. But the date -- featuring just-elemental-enough rhythm arrangements and harmonically savvy orchestrations by keyboardist Gil Goldstein -- has a hard-core jazz feel often absent from

Overview

As he has done on innumerable occasions, David Sanborn frames his trademark blues-drenched sound with a swath of irresistible rolling grooves on Closer, his second Verve offering. But the date -- featuring just-elemental-enough rhythm arrangements and harmonically savvy orchestrations by keyboardist Gil Goldstein -- has a hard-core jazz feel often absent from the alto saxophone icon's past sessions. That may be due to the presence of master jazzmen like bassist Christian McBride, vibraphonist Mike Mainieri, guitarist Russell Malone, traps-master Steve Gadd, and percussionist Luis Quintero, who help Sanborn to evoke the sophisticated, populist essence of late-‘60s Blue Note and early-‘70s CTI albums by such soul-and-funk-jazz pioneers as Stanley Turrentine, Duke Pearson, and Donald Byrd. Over a groove template more pan-African than funky, Sanborn digs into repertoire by early idols like Horace Silver ("Señor Blues" and "Enchantment"), Dizzy Gillespie ("Tin Tin Deo"), Ahmad Jamal ("Poinciana"), and Abdullah Ibrahim ("Capetown Fringe"). He emotes in heart-on-sleeve torchers like "Ballad of the Sad Young Men" and "You Must Believe In Spring" and complements the smoldering vocals of emerging star Lizz Wright on James Taylor's "Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight." But yes, it's jazz: Modern but not "contemporary," effervescent but not "lite," Closer communicates without dumbing down.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
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 1970s. 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. First, the bad news: Sanborn and vocalist Liz Wright team up for a version of James Taylor's "Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight" that is as bland as soy milk. That said, 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.

Product Details

Release Date:
01/11/2005
Label:
Verve
UPC:
0602498631973
catalogNumber:
000309502

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

David Sanborn   Primary Artist,Alto Saxophone
Larry Goldings   Organ,Electric Piano
Gil Goldstein   Accordion,Electric Piano
Bob Sheppard   Flute,Soprano Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Russell Malone   Guitar
Steve Gadd   Drums
Joyce Hammann   Violin
Mike Mainieri   Vibes
Christian McBride   Bass
Luis Quintero   Percussion
Belinda Whitney   Violin
Sheryl Henze   Alto Flute,Bass Flute
Alex Sipiagin   Trumpet,Flugelhorn
Lizz Wright   Vocals
Mike Davis   Trombone
Dave Eggar   Cello
Ron Lawrence   Viola

Technical Credits

James Taylor   Composer
Gil Fuller   Composer
Gil Goldstein   Orchestration,rhythm arrangement
Michel Legrand   Composer
David Sanborn   Composer,rhythm arrangement
Horace Silver   Composer
Chano Pozo   Composer
Alan Bergman   Composer
Marilyn Bergman   Composer
Charlie Chaplin   Composer
Jacques Demy   Composer
Joe Ferla   Engineer
Abdullah Ibrahim   Composer
Stewart Levine   Producer,Audio Production
Tommy Wolf   Composer
John Turner   Composer
Hollis King   Art Direction
Fran Landesman   Composer
Nat Simon   Composer
Bill Singer   Sax Technician
Dean Sharenow   Pro-Tools
Buddy Bernier   Composer
Linner S. Vasoll   Personal Assistant
Jonathan Duckett   Engineer
Geoffrey Parsons   Composer

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Closer 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Wonderful purchase. It is a gentle sound--not quite the soulless music of the 80s, but not quite Coltrane either. I find myself wanting it as background music when in a pensive mood--his breath control is remarkable, and I love the gentleness of the rhythyms. A must have for those looking to escape sans the use of Buddah Bar.