David Sanborn’s 10 Greatest Songs and Greatest Discs (Representative Songs and Hidden Masterpieces)

In this article, I created a ranking of David Sanborn.

His music can be classified as fusion or crossover.

However, it is not that difficult.

Even if you don’t pay particular attention to the music, you will find it amazing.

This blog is an automatic translation of a Japanese blog into English.

Please understand that it may be difficult to read.


No.1「Let’s Just Say Goodbye」(Album:Voyeur)


■Song Title:Let’s Just Say Goodbye
■Album Name:Voyeur
■Video link:「Let’s Just Say Goodbye」

He won his first Grammy Award for Best R&B Instrumental Performance for this album.

Indeed, this Album is very fulfilling.

There are some great songs on it, including the Grammy-winning “All I Need is You” and “Wake Me When It’s Over”.

I’ll just post a link to the latter.

David Sanborn – Wake Me When It’s Over

I just find the Album Name a bit strange.

I don’t think it fits his music.


No.2「Anything You Want」(Album:Hideaway)


■Song Title:Anything You Want
■Album Name:Hideaway
■Video link:「Anything You Want」

This time, the period covered was limited to the period from this album to “Upfront”.

Therefore, the following early works are not included.

・Taking Off
・David Sanborn
・Promise Me the Moon
・Heart to Heart

However, there are many good songs in that period as well.

Here is just one song from the first album.

David Sanborn – Flight

His personality is already evident in this album.

However, he had to wait for this album for his popularity to break through in earnest.

This album, his fifth, reached #5 on the jazz charts and #33 on the R&B charts.

It also contains other of his classic songs, such as the ballad “Lisa”.


No.3「Run for Cover」(Album:Straight to the Heart)


■Song Title:Run for Cover
■Album Name:Straight to the Heart
■Video link:「Run for Cover」

Marcus Miller’s bass is the highlight of this song.

Marcus Miller’s presence gradually grew after he joined “Hideaway”.

At first, he was just a bassist, but then he started contributing many songs.

He produced the last album “Backstreet” with Michael Colina and Ray Bardani, and this album he produced alone.

Sanborn is a top-notch saxophone player.

As a saxophone player, he is top-notch, but he may not be so good at creating an overall musical vision.

That’s why it took him a long time to become popular even though his ability was impeccable.

But by this time, Marcus Miller was there.

Sanborn’s sound was led by Marcus, and he concentrated on his own playing, resulting in such a masterpiece.

Marcus also plays an important role in the performance.

Please listen to the choppers, especially from 1:36.


No.4「Rush Hour」(Album:As We Speak)


■Song Title:Rush Hour
■Album Name:As We Speak
■Video link:「Rush Hour」

The special feature of this album is the participation of Michael Sembello.

Michael Sembello is the guy who has a hit song called “Maniac” on the soundtrack of “Flashdance”.

In the past, Sembello has taken an AOR-like approach with songs like “Promise Me the Moon”.

This album also seems to have a strong AOR flavor.

This may be due to the fact that Michael Sembello sings on two songs, including “Back Again.

In fact, this album is very popular among AOR fans.

In this song, the rhythm section of Marcus Miller and Omar Hakim is very strong.


No.5「Lotus Blossom」(Album:Straight to the Heart)


■Song Title:Lotus Blossom
■Album Name:Straight to the Heart
■Video link:「Lotus Blossom」

Lotus Blossom” is a well known jazz standard by Kenny Dorham.

However, this is a different song of the same name written by Don Grolnick.

This album is often said to be Sanborn’s best work, and I agree with that.

It is one of the top class masterpieces in the entire fusion genre.

This song is a ballad, but what do you think?

I’ve been focusing on the up-tempo songs, but the ballad is also a masterpiece of expression.

The seven-minute length is not a problem at all.


No.6「Chicago Song」(Album:A Change of Heart)


■Song Title:Chicago Song
■Album Name:A Change of Heart
■Video link:「Chicago Song」

His playing may be a pattern.

I don’t think he is a very versatile player.

When he played ordinary jazz on “Another Hand,” he was accused of being different.

However, in his case, it may be better to be a pattern.

This is a person who can convince listeners with just that.

He is the kind of strong saxophone player that every saxophonist longs to be.

What makes him so appealing is that he has his own quirks.

Take this song, for example.

At the 26-second mark, he simply plays the theme.

Even though it’s such a simple phrase, you can feel the Sanborn character.


No.7「Neither One of Us (Wants to Be the First to Say Goodbye)」(Album:Backstreet)


■Song Title:Neither One of Us (Wants to Be the First to Say Goodbye)
■Album Name:Backstreet
■Video link:「Neither One of Us (Wants to Be the First to Say Goodbye)」

His debut came when he was almost 30 years old, so it took a while.

Until then, he was a studio musician.

There are too many great performances from that era, but all of them are typical Sanborn performances.

For example, he plays the alto saxophone on Stevie Wonder’s “Tuesday Heartbreak” below.

Stevie Wonder – Tuesday Heartbreak

You immediately recognize it as a Sanborn, even though the volume of the saxophone is kept very low.

This is always the case with his playing.

The contours of the sound are so clear that even with the volume turned down, it comes to the fore over the other sounds.

This song is a cover of Gladys Knight & The Pips.

But in his case, his performance doesn’t change much under any circumstances.




■Song Title:Slam
■Album Name:Close-Up
■Video link:「Slam」

This album was a hit, but it has its pros and cons.

This album is a hit, but it has its detractors.

To be honest, I don’t think it’s necessary either.

However, his performance itself is still going strong, so I don’t have a big problem with it.

This song, for example, is a great example of the combination of inorganic rhythms and his unique playing.

Hiram Bullock’s guitar is also excellent.

The following ballads are also excellent.

David Sanborn – JT

I think this is one of Sanborn’s masterpieces.


No.9「Maputo」(Album:Double Vision)


■Artist Name:Bob James & David Sanborn
■Song Title:Maputo
■Album Name:Double Vision
■Video link:「Maputo」

This is a joint album with Bob James.

Bob James is not a funky player.

Bob James is not a funky player, he is a keyboard player who specializes in smooth jazz.

Sanborn, on the other hand, is a player like a thick, fine steak.

The combination of the two brought out a different kind of charm in Sanborn.

Many of the songs are smooth jazz-like, but the different Sanborn is fresh.

If you want to listen to Sanborn at his best, I recommend this album.


No.10「Bang Bang」(Album:Upfront)


■Song Title:Bang Bang
■Album Name:Upfront
■Video link:「Bang Bang」

Finally, I chose a fun song.

This song is a cover by Jimmy Castor.

Finally, here’s how Sanborn got started on the saxophone.

He suffered from childhood paralysis and began playing the saxophone on the recommendation of his doctor as a form of rehabilitation.

デイヴィッド・サンボーン ウィキペディア

I feel the joy of life in his playing.

Don’t you get the feeling that he just genuinely enjoys playing?

I feel energized when I listen to his performance.

Maybe this is not the music to listen to when you are really tired or disappointed.

However, if you are a little tired, you can listen to this music and feel energized.

If you want to give it one more try, eat some steak and listen to some Sanborn.

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