When I first saw that the new release from David Sanborn, Closer, identically follows the formula from his last release, I was going to write that he’s applying the if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it approach. Closer has the same players, producer, and the same ratio of known, not-so-known, and original Sanborn compositions. I wrote a positive review of that prior release. This recording is better.
Sanborn kicks it off in a feisty manner. His playing on the opening track “Tin Tin Deo” is as crisp and enthused as ever. The next song is a worthy rendition of Horace Silver’s “Senor Blues.” Singer Lizz Wright makes an overdue appearance on a cover of James Taylor’s “Don’t Let Me Be Lonely Tonight.” With that, the album gets into a more intimate and heartfelt tone. Except for the peppy Abdullah Ibrahim composition “Capetown Fringe,” you’ll hear a more introspective, romantic mood, notably on his two compositions “Another Time Another Place” and the tender “Sofia.”
Sanborn continues to amaze me. Like Joe Sample, he seems to get better with time. That’s saying something. Some of the sweet sounds coming out of his saxophone are unmatched in modern jazz.