David Sanborn: Another Hand
David Sanborn (alto sax)
Another Hand (Elektra Musician 9 61088-2)
Composed by Marcus Miller.
Recorded: Astoria, New York, 1991
Rating: 90/100 (learn more)
Another Hand is a collection of the type of ballads that Sanborn so excels on. The saxophonist is a bit of an enigma in the jazz world. He has had quite a good career playing both popular and jazz saxophone. Yet he has never really been accused of selling out, say the way Kenny G and others of his ilk have been. This is for two reasons. First, even at his sappiest, he is not as sappy as Kenny G. Second, he makes a concerted effort to play some really good jazz from time to time. In addition to his better jazz albums such as Another Hand, Sanborn has repeatedly tested his chops by appearing with many superior jazz players. There is no doubt that his jazzier albums sell less. The fact he continues to record any challenging music at all is a testament to his talent, confidence and reverence for jazz.
Marcus Miller's slow and evocative composition "Another Hand" is performed in the standard jazz quartet format. You can see and smell the cigarette smoke filling the small dark Village club. It is close to midnight. It is 1968. The saxophonist is hitting the apex of his evening's groove. The bass player's eyes are closed as he slides up and down the neck. The drummer signals he needs another drink with a subtle cue. Head low, the pianist leans into the keys and listens for what chords to insert. The band has been playing this club for a decade. They understand each other and every note and every gesture. There is considerable politicking in the streets during the day. But this is a place you can visit at night either to help you get lost or to obtain the rejuvenation so needed for the times.
Reviewer: Walter Kolosky