One of the first releases on the resurrected Okeh Records imprint, 2013's Quartette Humaine features pianist Bob James and saxophonist David Sanborn performing a set of mostly original songs that walk the line between funky contemporary jazz and more thoughtful post-bop. It’s also the first collaboration between the two giants of contemporary jazz since their 1986 Grammy Award-winning album Double Vision. However, rather than revisit that album's funk and smooth jazz leanings, here James and Sanborn summon the spirit of the legendary Dave Brubeck quartet featuring saxophonist Paul Desmond. While they don’t play any Brubeck songs, the album was recorded with Brubeck's adventurous, often challenging acoustic jazz spirit in mind.
David Sanborn's saxophone complements Bob James' keyboards perfectly on the appropriately titled DOUBLE VISION. Sanborn, James, and bassist Marcus Miller all contribute compositions, and the listener encounters a wonderful variety of musical styles throughout the album's seven tracks. DOUBLE VISION opens on its highest note with Miller's "Maputo," a lush and moody song that highlights Sanborn's skills and sets the pace for the rest of the recording.
Album of American saxophonist David Sanborn (Florida, 1945) accompanied with keyboards and synthesizers by Robert M. 'Bob' James (Missouri, 1939). Since the release of his first album Sanborn has kept a line of becoming one of the most successful high saxophones on the market and establishing itself as one of the most influential R & B and pop from the 80s. This album has instrumental sextet format (saxophone, keyboards, bass, drums, guitar and percussion), intervening voice of Al Jarreau in the topic 'Since I fell for you', that was nominated in 1987 for a Grammy for best vocal male performance on R & B.
This album is one of David Sanborn's better early recordings. Although the record is perhaps best known for the altoist's version of Paul Simon's "I Do It For Your Love," Sanborn's playing on some of the other cuts (most notably "Mamacita" and "7th Avenue") finds him really stretching within the R&B/crossover genre. Only "Smile" (which has some mundane vocalizing) is a minus, and it is more than compensated for by Sanborn's passionate improvising elsewhere.
Bob James was putting the "smooth" into "jazz" long before it was an official format, and as an elder statesman, the keyboardist continues to be one of the most consistent slow groove crowd-pleasers around. But some of the most inspired moments of his career have come from key collaborations with peers from his generation like David Sanborn and Earl Klugh. While never straying far from the melodic, pleasant sort of cool he's best known for, on Playin' Hooky, James duets on various tunes with some of the new kids on the charts, from classical guitarist Fareed Haque to trumpeter Rick Braun and the increasingly ubiquitous saxman Boney James (no relation).
Bob James is a highly developed pianist, arranger, and composer. This set is notable for its heavyweight cast including David Sanborn, Ron Carter, Idris Muhammad, Steve Gadd, Eric Gale, Hubert Laws, and Earl Klugh. It also netted the monster hit "Angela (Theme from Taxi)," which continued to get airplay on smooth jazz stations into the 21st century.