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David Sanborn

Sanborn performing in Union Square, San Francisco
Background information
Born July 30, 1945 (1945-07-30) (age 64)
Tampa, Florida
United States
Genres Jazz, rock, R&B, pop, funk
Occupations Musician
Instruments Saxophone, Piano
Years active 1959-present
Labels Verve, GRP, Rhino, Elektra, Warner Bros., Reprise
Website davidsanborn.com

David Sanborn (born July 30, 1945) is an American alto saxophonist. Though Sanborn has worked in many genres, his solo recordings typically blend jazz with instrumental pop and R&B.[1] He released his first solo album Taking Off in 1975, but has been playing the saxophone since before he was in high school.[2]

One of the most commercially successful American saxophonists to earn prominence since the 1980s, Sanborn is often identified with radio-friendly smooth jazz. However, Sanborn has expressed a disinclination for both the genre itself and his association with it.[1]

Contents

Biography

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Early years

Sanborn was born in Tampa, Florida, and grew up in Kirkwood, Missouri. He suffered from polio in his youth, and began playing the saxophone on a physician's advice to strengthen his weakened chest muscles and improve his breathing. Alto saxophonist Hank Crawford, at the time a member of Ray Charles' band, was an early and lasting influence on Sanborn.[3] Sanborn performed with blues musicians Albert King and Little Milton at the age of 14, and continued playing blues when he joined Paul Butterfield's band in 1967, after attending the University of Iowa.[3]

Although Sanborn is most associated with smooth jazz, he explored the edges of free jazz in his youth, studying with saxophonists Roscoe Mitchell and Julius Hemphill. In 1993, he revisited this genre when he appeared on Tim Berne's Diminutive Mysteries, dedicated to Hemphill.

Recordings

He has been a highly regarded session player since the late 1960s, playing with an array of well-known artists, such as James Brown, Bryan Ferry, Eric Clapton, Roger Daltrey, Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, Jaco Pastorius, the Brecker Brothers, Casiopea, Players Association, David Bowie, Todd Rundgren, Bruce Springsteen, Little Feat, Tommy Bolin, Bob James, James Taylor, Al Jarreau, Pure Prairie League, Kenny G George Benson, Joe Beck, Donny Hathaway, Elton John, Gil Evans, Carly Simon, Guru, Linda Ronstadt, Billy Joel, Kenny Garrett, Roger Waters, Steely Dan, Ween, The Eagles, The Grateful Dead, the German group Nena, and Japanese pop star Utada Hikaru.[4]

Sanborn has won numerous awards including Grammy Awards for Voyeur (1981), Double Vision (1986) and the instrumental album Close Up (1988). In television, Sanborn is well-known for his sax solo in the theme song for the NBC hit drama L.A. Law. He has also done some film scoring for films such as Lethal Weapon and Scrooged. In 1991 Sanborn recorded Another Hand, which the All Music Guide to Jazz described as a "return by Sanborn to his real, true love: unadorned (or only partly adorned) jazz" that "balanced the scales" against his smooth jazz material.[5] The album, produced by Hal Willner, featured musicians from outside the smooth jazz scene, such as Charlie Haden, Jack DeJohnette, Bill Frisell, and Marc Ribot. His more recent albums include Closer.

In 1994 Sanborn appeared in A Celebration: The Music of Pete Townshend and The Who, also known as Daltrey Sings Townshend. This was a two-night concert at Carnegie Hall produced by Roger Daltrey of English rock band The Who in celebration of his fiftieth birthday. In 1994 a CD and a VHS video were issued, and in 1998 a DVD was released.

In 1995 he performed in The Wizard of Oz in Concert: Dreams Come True a musical performance of the popular story at Lincoln Center to benefit the Children's Defense Fund. The performance was originally broadcast on Turner Network Television (TNT), and issued on CD and video in 1996.

Broadcasting activities

Sanborn has done both radio and television broadcasting. Since the late 1980s he has been a regular guest member of Paul Shaffer's band on Late Night with David Letterman. From 1988-89, he co-hosted a late-night TV music show on NBC with Jools Holland. The show, Night Music, following producer Hal Willner's eclectic approach, drew Sanborn together with many famed musicians, such as Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Eric Clapton, Robert Cray, Lou Reed, Santana, Todd Rundgren, Youssou N'dour, Pere Ubu, Loudon Wainwright III, Mary Margaret O'Hara, Screamin' Jay Hawkins, and Curtis Mayfield. During the 1980s and 1990s, Sanborn hosted a syndicated radio program, The Jazz Show with David Sanborn.[3] He also recorded the theme song as well as several other songs for The Late Late Show with Tom Snyder.

More recent activities

In 2004, Sanborn was inducted into the St. Louis Walk of Fame. In 2006, he was featured in Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band's most recent album The Phat Pack (released on June 13) on the track "Play That Funky Music", a remake of the Wild Cherry' hit in a big band style. Sanborn often performs at Japan's Blue Note venues in Nagoya, Osaka, and Tokyo. He plays on the song "Your Party" on Ween's 2007 release La Cucaracha. On April 8 2007, Sanborn sat in with the Allman Brothers Band during their annual run at the Beacon Theater in New York City.

Discography

Albums

DVDs

  • Legends: Live at Montreux 1997 (Released: 2005)
  • The Legends of Jazz: Showcase (Released: 2006)[6]

Filmography

Actor/Host

  • The Wizard of Oz in Concert: Dreams Come True (1995)
    Cast member in the TV musical
  • Scrooged (1988)
    Played a street musician
  • Sunday Night (1988)
    Was the host of this music show (later known as Michelob Presents Night Music)
  • Magnum P.I. (1986)
    Was guest saxophonist in the episode L.A.
  • Stelle Sulla Citta (1983) [7]

Himself

  • Eric Clapton & Friends in Concert (1999)
  • Burt Bacharach: One Amazing Night (1995)
    Performed Wives and Lovers on this TV special
  • The Kennedys Center Honors: A Celebration of the Performing Arts (1996)
  • Forget Paris (1995)
  • Celebration: The Music of Pete Townshend and The Who (1994)
  • Michael Kamen: Concert for Saxophone (1991)
  • Benny Carter: Symphony in Riffs (1989)
  • One Trick Pony (1980)
  • The David Letterman Show (appearances on the following dates):

•29 October 1993 •15 October 1993 •21 September 1993 •10 September 1993 •22 December 1988 •10 November 1988 •25 December 1987 •7 October 1987

  • 22 May 1986
  • Saturday Night Live (15 March 1980) [7]

Composer

Musician

Gear List

  • Saxophone
    Selmer Mark VI Alto Saxophone
    Manufacturer: Selmer
    Location: Paris, France
    Retail Value (approx): $6,000 (US)
  • Reeds
    Vandoren V16 reeds
    Each reed lasts David roughly a week.
  • Mouthpiece
    A modified Dukoff D8 Metal Alto Sax Mouthpiece
  • Ligature
    A Harrison Ligature
  • Bell Jar
    To keep his reeds humidified without over-soaking them, David uses a bell jar. First he soaks them for a couple of hours in the jar, and then empties out most of the water so that the reeds won't get wet, but will still stay humid. He finds this technique extremely valuable.[8]

References

  1. ^ a b Cook, Richard; Brian Morton (1996) [1992]. The Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD (Third ed.). London: Penguin Group. pp. 1148–1149. ISBN 0-14-051368-X. 
  2. ^ "Biography". Official Community of David Sanborn. http://www.davidsanborn.com/biography.html. Retrieved 2008-05-15. 
  3. ^ a b c Balfany, Greg (January/February 1989), "David Sanborn", Saxophone Journal 13 (4): 28–31 
  4. ^ "Sessions". Official Community of David Sanborn. http://www.davidsanborn.com/relatedartists/default.html. Retrieved 2008-05-15. 
  5. ^ Wynn, Ron (1994), All Music Guide to Jazz, San Francisco: Miller Freeman, pp. 567, ISBN 0879303085 
  6. ^ a b "Discography". Official Community of David Sanborn. http://www.davidsanborn.com/discography.html. Retrieved 2008-05-16. 
  7. ^ a b c d "Filmography". Official Community of David Sanborn. http://www.davidsanborn.com/filmography.html. Retrieved 2008-05-16. 
  8. ^ "Gear List". Official Community of David Sanborn. http://www.davidsanborn.com/gearlist.html. Retrieved 2008-05-16. 

External links


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