Saturday, January 1, 2011

David Sanborn: Another hand (1991)

This is a definite departure for Sanborn as he goes outside to bring us "Another Hand". Looking at who he's playing with it's very obvious why he has taken the step over into Free Jazz, Bill Frisell and Charlie Haden. Haden was the bassist for the king of Free Jazz and fellow sax player, Ornate Coleman. Coleman could go so far outside that it would hurt. These outside tunes might be a little difficult for even jazz lovers to tolerate, but Sanborn only touches upon it leaving this album very easy to listen to.
The Frisell/Haden combo starts you off easy with Haden's "First Song" and Frisell's signature sound on guitar. Then comes Frisell's turn for one of his songs with "Monica Jane". Haden has a small bass solo in the middle. Lou Reed's "Jesus" is the surprise of this unique combo's reprituer as it stays pretty much inside, which must be the setup for jumping straight on over into Free Jazz with the medley bringing back memories of Coleman. Don't let these songs scare you, the first three from the combo are very well done, and easy on the ear. Plus, for every song he plays with Frisell and Haden, he plays one without them. "Weird from One Step Beyond" (Frisell appears here too) is a beautiful, soulful jazz tune. Sanborn's sax is dripping with emotion as he blows those beautiful notes. Another beautiful song is "Come to Me, Nina." Sanborn mirrors Terry Adams on the piano with great results. Sanborn kicks it in with "Hobbies", which is upbeat and flashy. There's a solo from one of my favorite pianists, Mulgrew Miller. Miller hangs out for "Dukes & Counts", another great tune.
This is one of those albums where an artist wants to step outside his confines and try a little something new. I have to applaud Sanborn for taking the risk, especially to try Free Jazz. Although I'm not a fan of Free Jazz, I still find this a great album. I'm not a big fan of the medley, but the rest of the album makes up for it. Sanborn sure can blow, and proves it on this album. He also surrounds himself with exceptional musicians. For more of Frisell and Haden, check them out with Ginger Baker on "Going Home", and for more Miller with Brian Lynch on "Tribute to the Trumpet Masters", both are excellent. 
01. First Song 05:23
02. Monica Jane 05:32
03. Come To Me, Nina 05:29
04. Hobbies 04:59
05. Another Hand 06:44
06. Jesus 03:35
07. Weird From One Step Beyond 06:14
08. CEE 02:26
09. The Medley: Prayers For Charlie From The Devil At Four O'clock 12:22
10. Dukes & Counts 05:30
Personnel: David Sanborn (saxophones); Syd Straw (vocals); Lenny Pickett (tenor saxophone); Art Baron (trombone); Terry Adams, Mulgrew Miller (piano); Dave Tronzo (acoustic guitar); Bill Frisell, Marc Ribot, Al Anderson (guitars); Greg Cohen, Marcus Miller, Charlie Haden (bass); Joey Baron, Jack DeJohnette (drums); Don Alias (percussion)
Another Hand
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