With bassist Marcus Miller acting as producer and some memorable tunes being performed (most notably "Hideaway" and "Straight to the Heart"), this is one of altoist David Sanborn's better R&B-ish recordings. Joined by keyboardist Don Grolnick, guitarist Hiram Bullock, bassist Miller, drummer Buddy Williams and various guest musicians, Sanborn sounds fairly inspired and is in top form.
This 1981 recording is an excellent example of David Sanborn's music. The highly influential altoist is joined by familiar studio veterans (including guitarist Hiram Bullock and drummer Steve Gadd) with bassist/composer Marcus Miller being a key figure in creating the funky rhythms and colorful backgrounds. Miller, who shared the writing chores with Sanborn, not only contributed his powerful bass, but backed the altoist during a duet version of "Just for You" on piano. Easily recommended to fans of R&B-ish jazz.
Only Everything, David Sanborn’s second album for Decca, feels like part two of his debut for the label, 2008’s Here & Gone. That set was a tribute to Ray Charles and Hank Crawford – the alto saxophonist who played with Charles in the '50s and early '60s, and influenced Sanborn tremendously. That set featured loads of vocals and tightly arranged tunes that were indicative of the performances of Charles' bands. Only Everything delves into more of that territory, but this time, Sanborn reflects more heavily on Crawford and David “Fathead” Newman, another legendary Charles ace from roughly the same period.
Released in 1980, Hideaway earned David Sanborn fame beyond that of the average studio musician, and rightfully so. Many releases by studio musicians suffer from weak compositions and overproduction, including some albums by Sanborn himself. However, Hideaway features a stripped-down, funky sound that showcases the artist's passionate and distinctive saxophone sound. This includes two tunes co-written with Michael McDonald and the "love theme" from the motion picture American Gigolo, appropriately entitled "The Seduction." All eight tunes on Hideaway are winners.
Sanborn's '83 release brought a new meaning to late night or midnight music listening ! By no means is this elevator muzak, either ! In fact, Sanborn was on the cutting edge in using drum machines and synthesizer arrangements without stifling his sax playing or throwing the whole project out of whack. Sanborn's playing is very upfront and sharp ! While the recording may sound dated, it is only in a very good positive way to demonstrate what is lacking in some of today's so-called pop-jazz or r & b instrumentalists.
By the time of his third album, altoist David Sanborn's popularity and influence was growing month by month. Most of these numbers feature Sanborn with an enlarged rhythm section (with such studio vets as guitarists Hugh McCracken and David Spinozza, Don Grolnick or Richard Tee on keyboards, vibraphonist Mike Mainieri, bassist Herb Bushler and drummer Steve Gadd). However, "Short Visit" is something special, for Sanborn was joined by what was mostly the Gil Evans Orchestra; Evans even wrote the chart. Otherwise, this is a typical Sanborn release with plenty of danceable rhythms and the focus on his passionate alto.
David Sanborn's third album as a leader has him steering away from the N.Y.C. neo-bop, skunk funk, Seventh Avenue style he helped co-found with the Brecker Brothers band. That it is recorded in Miami speaks volumes about the sunny attitude and less jazz-oriented music he is fomenting. Guitarist/vocalist Hiram Bullock and emerging electric bass guitar star Mark Egan have something to do with this, but the extraordinary drummer Victor Lewis is the one who gives this music an R&B heft while also adding Latin flavors, like boogaloo on growth hormones. Keyboardist Rosalinda DeLeon, percussionist Jumma Santos, and four female vocalists help with the sexy Afro-Caribbean underpinning, while Sanborn plays his trusty St. Louis soul vibrato-drenched alto sax, and also experiments with sopranino sax and the lyricon. The album yields mixed results – including some spectacular, fervent music, with the tamer sounds more likely to appeal to crossover or pop audiences.
This album is one of David Sanborn's better early recordings. Although the record is perhaps best known for the altoist's version of Paul Simon's "I Do It For Your Love," Sanborn's playing on some of the other cuts (most notably "Mamacita" and "7th Avenue") finds him really stretching within the R&B/crossover genre. Only "Smile" (which has some mundane vocalizing) is a minus, and it is more than compensated for by Sanborn's passionate improvising elsewhere.