Here & Gone
It turns out smooth-jazz standby David Sanborn has a “decent soul-jazz record” in him after all, said Nate Chinen in The New York Times. The saxman’s radio-friendly, “sweet-tart alto sound” has made him a “reliable pop staple” for more than 30 years. But on Here & Gone Sanborn proves he’s capable of something more. Sanborn’s 23rd album is a “testament, brimming with conviction,” to great alto saxophonist Hank Crawford, best known for his work with Ray Charles in the 1950s and early 1960s. To see Sanborn swap pop predictability for the “grittier connections” of rhythm and blues is a “disarming delight.” Each song on the album is delivered “with a rare expression of soul,” said Woodrow Wilkins in Allaboutjazz.com. Sanborn lets loose “one of his funkier solos” on “I Believe to My Soul,” a duet with Joss Stone. Eric Clapton joins him for the sultry blues of “I’m Gonna Move to the Outskirts of Town,” while Sam Moore of Sam and Dave playfully hollers on “I’ve Got News for You.” The guests “bring character and heft” to the album, said Mario Tarradell in The Dallas Morning News. But Sanborn’s “commanding and passionate” musicianship holds all the pieces together.