This is six-time Grammy award-winner David Sanborn’s second release as a Verve recording artist, and once again, he works magic with the alto sax.
David uses the same group of musicians as he did on his Verve debut release, timeagain (2003), thus recreating some of the same cohesion and talent that worked so well for him the first time. Larry Goldings (electric piano, organ), Mike Mainieri (vibraphone), Russell Malone (guitar), Christian McBride (bass), Steve Gadd (drums), Gil Goldstein (piano, accordion), and Luis Quintero (percussion) form the recording band for this release.
Closer has eleven songs – nine covers and two originals. Sanborn is a master at taking previously recorded songs, songs which are generally not well known in the world of smooth jazz, and making them his own. He doesn’t limit his musical selections to only jazz songs, or even popular songs. He expertly pulls material from all musical genres and interprets them with his own style, thus creating something that is musically unique. This works for him because of his incredible talent, and the fact that he trusts it.
Sanborn opens the CD with the up-tempo “Tin Tin Deo.” This tune finds Christian McBride once again on the stand-up acoustic bass with strong percussion work by Luis Quintero. This song will sound even better when it’s played live in concert.
One of the standout songs on this CD is the cover of James Taylor’s “Don’t Let Me Be Lonely Tonight.” Sanborn’s alto sax plays compellingly against the sultry contralto voice of label mate and rising star Lizz Wright. He also performs very poignant versions of Charlie Chaplin’s “Smile,” and the Tommy Wolf song, “Ballad of the Sad Young Men.” Sanborn chooses to end this CD on a softer, more soulful note with one of his two original tunes, “Sofia.”
The other songs on this CD include renditions of two songs by Horace Silver, “Senor Blues” and “Enchantment;” his other original tune, “Another Time, Another Place;” the Abdullah Ibrahim South African classic, “Capetown Fringe;” “Poinciana;” and “You Must Believe in Spring” by Hall of Fame songwriters Alan & Marilyn Bergman.