David Sanborn & Bob James are back

The musicians that brought us the iconic record, Double Vision, featuring such gifts as Maputo have combined their talents yet again, decades later, for a project titled Quartette Humaine. Who are they? They are two legends, two musicians, who have set the stage for all those who came after in jazz, funk, fusion and beautiful music in general. They are none other than saxophonist David Sanborn and pianist Bob James.

It was 1986 when Sanborn and James released the platinum-selling, Grammy-winning Double Vision record which became one of the most successful smooth jazz releases, garnering impressive airplay and spending 63 weeks on the Billboard charts, topping out at #50. Now they teamed up with drummer Steve Gadd, also a Double Vision alumnus, to record Quartette Humaine with bassist James Genus.

In a sense the new project is an homage to New York City, to Brubeck and to the surviving friendship between these two veterans of the art form. While I typically try to bring inspiring live performances to this site, please allow an interview that wonderfully captures these two old friends and this project.

Interview with Dave Sanborn and Bob James about the Making of Quartette Humaine

On Thursday night, June 6, 2013 we ventured down to 43rd Street to the Town Hall (a concert venue in NYC) to see, as Sanborn put it, “my third rehearsal.” It was a masterful live performance by Sanborn, James, Gadd and Genus. While I do not have any live footage from the performance, here is a tune from Quartette Humaine titled Deep in the Weeds.

Deep in the Weeds

It would be an affront to their history not to present a live performance of the tune Maputo off their Double Vision record. This version is performed by Bob James’ band Fourplay and they are joined by David Sanborn.

David Sanborn with Bob James and Fourplay playing Maputo

When they recorded Double Vision, Marcus Miller wrote some of the songs and recorded the record with them. Miller, a legendary bass player, also wrote Maputo and played with Sanborn during the height of his career. Here is a touching interview in which Miller talks to Sanborn and James.

Marcus Miller interviews Bob James and David Sanborn – Part I

About Daniel Odescalchi

I've been a smooth jazz fan since I was first turned onto David Sanborn, Marcus Miller & Bob James in the 80's. And who could forget Dave Grusin. Unfortunately after a while too many people started doing pop covers and it polluted the smooth jazz pool. That's starting to change and this blog is dedicated to educating people on the enjoyment of smooth jazz and the artists that perform it.
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