(Verve – 2003)
by S.H. Watkins, Sr.
It would be safe to say that this is the best David Sanborn album in almost 20 years. Joined by a smokin’ Russell Malone on guitar, Christian McBride on bass, Mike Mainieri on vibes, and keyboard player Ricky Peterson Sanborn takes his musical output to a new emotional level. From the Hot “Comin Home Baby” all the way through to the pensive “Delia” Sanborn’s performance controls the music with authority, power and style. On Harlem Nocturne you can feel the music pulsing in your veins. On the Turrentine classic Sugar Russell Malone shows his chops a bit, taking Dave’s spotlight and burning for a minute or two before passing it back to the alto master.
Tequila kicks it up a notch, Sanborn alternating between a frenetic wail and smooth chords before giving way to Mike Maniere’s red-hot vibe solo, then retaking the reigns and rocking through to the end of the track. Sanborn’s take on Stevie Wonder’s Isn’t She Lovely is slower than the original, more drawn out and silky giving him some room to stretch out and improvise a little bit. he CD closes with the three original tracks; Little Flower, the jazzy Spider B. where Malone again struts his stuff a bit, and the beautiful Delia which wraps up a great CD in great style. That’s all I can say. Go buy it.