TribLIVE

| AandE

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Musicians James, Sanborn hitting the road together for first time

Sonny Abelardo Management
David Sanborn (left) and Bob James

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

David Sanborn and Bob James

When: 7 and 9:30 p.m.

Admission: Sold out

Where: Manchester Craftsmen's Guild, North Side

Details: 412-322-0800 or www.mcgjazz.org

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013, 9:01 p.m.
 

Bob James says he and David Sanborn are not on a “crusade,” but both insist their current tour is making a statement about their musical direction.

Keyboardist/arranger James sounds proud when he talks about how this series of shows is taking them into clubs they might have been unable to visit during their pop-jazz days.

Alto sax star Sanborn is equally happy talking about the success of the tour and its “no-risk, no-reward” challenges.

They will bring that show to the Manchester Craftsmen's Guild, North Side, on Oct. 25, part of a swing that has seen them in clubs and festivals in the United States and Europe.

The tour is in support of their new album, “Quartet Humaine,” which is a long-awaited followup to their Grammy award-nominated “Double Vision” from 1986. The tour also puts them on the road together for the first time, even with the popularity of “Double Vision.”

“Back then, we were just so busy with what we were doing, we didn't hit the road after it,” says Sanborn, 68. “I think we were surprised what a hit it was.”

James agrees their careers in the mid-'80s made it tough to put a tour together. Sanborn was on the road steadily at that time with a band that filled halls like the Stanley Theater, now known as the Benedum Center, Downtown.

At the same time, James was doing a great deal of work composing, arranging and putting successful albums together.

But, he says, when they started planning “Quartet Humaine,” live performances were planned “even before we finished recording.”

They both are enjoying their days on the road.

“David and I challenge each other every night,” James says of their play.

Sanborn says James “is a great support player and a great soloist.”

While the tour represents a change in their business thinking, the performances — and the album — represent a change in their playing and musical direction. “Double Vision” was a heavily produced album with a smooth/funk style. “Quartet Humaine” is an all-acoustic outing with James and Sanborn being joined by drummer Steve Gadd and bassist James Genus.

James, 73, says when they started discussing what to do, they suddenly realized their instrumentation was the same as the classic Dave Brubeck Quartet.

“Not that we are doing the same sort of music as Brubeck, but it means what the music represents is fresh and different for us,” he says.

He and Sanborn wanted to stay away from any “Double Vision” pop approach because “you can't go back,” James says.

They do some of the hits from “Double Vision” in these concerts, Sanborn says, but they do them in an acoustic setting and “really open them up.”

Both admit having some trepidation with some of the stops on the tour. Sanborn says they were cautious about playing at places focused on “contemporary jazz” where audiences might want “Double Vision”-like tunes.

But he and James agree the reaction — even in those venues — has been positive.

“It is almost like they have discovered they want something more than party music,” James says.

Bob Karlovits is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at bkarlovits@tribweb.com

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Music

  1. Review: Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble adds fresh take to revival
  2. Smith’s blend of classical, jazz creates enjoyable ride
  3. Pittsburgh singer Lee spreads love through music, charitable works
  4. Pentatonix’s road to musical success didn’t follow usual drumbeat
  5. Clarkson, Pentatonix impress the crowd at First Niagara Pavilion
  6. Review: Opera Theater Summerfest continues to impress with ‘Capriccio’