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Quartette Humaine

Bob James & David Sanborn

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Album Review

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. Sanborn also wanted to move away from the hemmed-in studio sound both artists were known for and investigate a live-in-studio approach that allowed for more unexpected improvisational situations. For his part, Sanborn benefits from the more freewheeling style and showcases an earthy, blues-oriented sax sound that brings to mind such influences as Hank Crawford and David "Fathead" Newman. Joining the duo are drummer Steve Gadd and bassist James Genus, whose compelling rhythmic choices and more than technically proficient chops are a perfect match for James and Sanborn. These are classy, no-nonsense songs that allow both of these jazz superstars to stretch themselves past what any existing fan might have thought of as their limit.

Customer Reviews

Buy it NOW

This album brings back great memories of when I first heard Bob James when I was in College in the 80s'. Yet, each song is new and fresh and enjoying each moment listening to two Legends; Bob James & David Sanborn
Get it now!

Ruined by the vibrato

I have been a fan of Bob James since his first album, which came out when I was in college. Some people are disappointed with this new duet album because it's not a retread of "Double Vision." That's not what bothers me. I like the overall stripped-down sound of this album, and the choice to do more traditional-sounding tunes. But what has happened to Sanborn's vibrato? His sound is super-dry on this recording, and his vibrato is frequently at least a half-step wide. It's like listening to an old lady sing. Despite a couple of outstanding new tunes, and new takes on standards like "My Old Flame," I won't be returning to this album. It's too hard on the ears.

Jazzmatazz collabs

Thanks to guru i know of these heads. and it just so happens that theyve combined forces, just like that lol

Biography

Born: December 25, 1939 in Marshall, MO

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Bob James' recordings have practically defined pop/jazz and crossover during the past few decades. Very influenced by pop and movie music, James has often featured R&B-ish soloists (most notably Grover Washington, Jr.) who add a jazz touch to what is essentially an instrumental pop set. He actually started out in music going in a much different direction. In 1962, James recorded a bop-ish trio set for Mercury, and three years later his album for ESP was quite avant-garde, with electronic tapes...
Full Bio
Quartette Humaine, Bob James
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  • $8.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: May 17, 2013

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