Tribute to David Sanborn, brilliant saxophonist

Saxophonist David Sanborn dies

Posted today at 5:46 p.m.

Scrolling through David Sanborn’s live appearances at the Montreux Jazz Festival, from 1981 to 2015, is already enough to give a fairly clear image of this brilliant saxophonist who contributed to establishing a “smooth” standard that was disputed, in the 70s and 80s, its funk or romantic leanings.

On the Riviera, this American champion of a clear, precise and dynamic sound obviously appears under his name but also alongside Al Jarreau, Chaka Khan, Miles Davis, Phil Collins, Quincy Jones, Eric Clapton , from Nile Rodgers’ Chic…

The 79-year-old musician, who died on Sunday May 12 from complications of prostate cancer, had played with almost everyone. In the American style, he favored energy, efficiency, direct effect, which led him to collaborate with soul and pop stars, such as James Brown (“Hell” and “Reality » in 1974), Stevie Wonder (on “Talking Book”), David Bowie (for the underrated album “Young Americans”), Bruce Springsteen (“Born to Run”) or even the Rolling Stones and their “Undercover” from 1983.

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James Taylor, Eagles, Bryan Ferry, Toto, Billy Joel… The list is endless… If we were being mean, we’d say that David Sanborn was sneaking around the music world like an all-too-successful studio shark, defining a certain glam-pop of jazz saxophone, acclaimed when he played on the soundtrack of “Lethal Weapon” but also criticized by purists who considered him a pure entertainerpredecessor of a Candy Dulfer.

Languorous or sparkling

However, he was much more than that and his own compositions often met with widespread success, in a jazz field where he recorded numerous hits, often languorous or with sparkling grooves. In the mid-1980s, he recorded two of his most beautiful recordings: “Straight to the Heart” in 1984 and “Double Vision” with pianist Bob James.

In this family of musicians, where he was accepted as a full member, he played with Gil Evans, Ron Carter, the Brecker brothers, John McLaughlin, and even showed, he who had exercised his free muscle with Roscoe Mitchell, that he could show himself in a wilder and more bizarre light by participating in “Diminutive Mysteries” by Tim Berne in 1992. But this leading saxophonist clearly preferred distant orbits around glittery, golden moons to landings in their rugged craters.

Boris Senff has worked in the cultural section since 1995. He writes on music, photography, theater, cinema, literature, architecture, fine arts.More informations @Sibernoff

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