Thursday, July 9, 2009

DVD of the Day - "David Sanborn: Live at Montreux"

DVD of the Day
David Sanborn: "Live at Montreux 1984" (Eagle Vision/ST2) 2009

Sanborn has played the Montreux Jazz Festival many times over, but this amazing 1984 performance captures the alto sax star in top form, playing in support of his Grammy-winning album "Straight to the Heart." Featuring a guest appearance by Rickie Lee Jones on "Autumn Leaves," the engaging set also includes the songs "Hideaway," "Rush Hour," "I Told U So," "Straight To The Heart," "Smile" (a tune by Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson & Paul Simon, not to be mistaken with Charles Chaplin's old standard), and a stunning Hiram Bullock guitar solo "inside" the audience, including quotes from Jobim's "One Note Samba."
The other band members are keyboardist Larry Willis (ex-husband of Georgiana de Moraes), bassist Tom Barney (a former member of Tania Maria's band) and drummer Buddy Williams (fresh from his stint with the Manhattan Transfer).
However, IMHO, the best three performances are on the "extras", from Sanborn's first Montreux concert as a leader in 1981, with Marcus Miller, Neil Larsen, Ricky Lawson, Lenny Castro, Robben Ford and Mike Mainieri. Highly connected, they provide great versions of "Love Is Not Enough," "Hideaway" and most notably "Lotus Blossom," a lovely ballad penned by my late friend Don Grolnick, to which Michael Franks later added lyrics for his "One Bad Habbit" album. Recorded by Sanborn on his third LP, "Heart to Heart" (1978), "Lotus Blossom" would be recorded a year later also by Art Farmer for his CTI fusion project with Joe Henderson, "Yama," once again with Mainieri on the vibes.

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