Skip to main content

CD Review - "Quartette Humaine", Bob James / David Sanborn

1984, twenty-nine years ago, two well established jazz stars coordinated their schedules so they could record together. The result was the highly successful "Double Vision" CD. This was before "smooth jazz" had earned such a negative connotation. These two are back with a new recording, their status now solidly established as two of the elder statesmen of the music. The younger, brash sound of these upstart musicians climbing the ladder of jazz notoriety is still present. 

It's rounded out now years of mastering their respective instruments. There is a touch and sensitivity to the ballads that puts the listener in an emotional and mental state of their own choosing. Rounding out the quartet (formed with intent to emulate the legendary Dave Brubeck quartets) are James Genus on bass, and Steve Gadd on drums. Genus anchors the groove, while Gadd provides just the right dynamics. The music is exciting, contemplative, adventurous, and reflective.

This is music from another time, but very much today. They kick things off with the carefree, swingin' "You Better Not Go To College". It's. tasty track that serves as a warmup of things to come. Then comes the captivating Geste Humaine, which grabs your attention within the first few bars, and never lets go. This group glides through the tracks with the seamless finesse only a veteran group can bring.

They work through a number of new compositions by both James and Sanborn, with the free-wheeling style brought about by a veteran quartet in a live, studio recording. “Another Time, Another Place” was a standout track on Sanborn’s 2005 Release, “Closer”. The updated version by this band takes an already exotic gem to a whole different space. So much so, you could play both tracks, back to back, and feel two different vibes. From beautiful ballads like Sanborn’s “Sofia”, to the near baroque, intricate romp of James’ “Follow Me”, you can tell these guys are having a great time. It comes through on stage that way too. If you have a chance to catch them on their current tour, jump on it. In the meantime, enjoy this great release.


Popular posts from this blog

Jazz 500 - An Overdue Personal Project

Hello again. First, I must apologize for being away for so long. I wish I had more of an excuse to give you, but the fact is, sometimes life just gets in the way. In any case, I’m back just in time for the heart of the festival season. Next up for me is the Monterey Jazz Festival in September. We have our tickets in hand, and can’t wait for this, the 61st edition, of the longest continuously running jazz festival in the world. In the meantime, if you’ve followed my Instagram feed in the past, you may have noticed quite a bit more activity than normal. I usually post images live from the festival, and hope to be doing that again this year. In addition, I’ve started a series I’m referring to as Jazz 500 (#jazz500). My Jazz Photojournalism adventure began in 1995. A year later, I covered my first Monterey Jazz Festival. Since then, I’ve covered it every year except 1997 and 1998. As you can imagine, after 20 years of photographing some of the greatest legends of the musi

Faces of Jazz: Nancy Wilson, 2008 Monterey Jazz Festival

The afternoon "Conversation" segments of the Monterey Jazz Festival are a hidden gem in the festival's weekend program. The audience takes a rare, personal look at an artist as they reflect on various aspects and moments of their storied careers. This image was captured in one of those sessions with Nancy Wilson. Later that evening, Ms. Wilson would take the stage for the first time since the passing of her husband of 35 years, just weeks prior. She noted that how performing would be very different now. "Whenever U was onstage," she explained, " matter where I was in the world, I was always singing to him." She went on to say her signature song "Guess Who I Saw Today" had absolutely nothing to do with the Reverend Wiley Burton.  All ticket options for the 2013 Monterey Jazz Festival are available now. Choose from single day grounds tickets to full weekend subscription packages for the Arena concerts. Go to the Monterey Jazz Fe

Faces of Jazz: Joe Lovano and the Berklee Global Jazz Ambassadors - 2013 Monterey Jazz Festival

Each year, the Monterey Jazz Festival's Artist-in-Residence is featured in a number of ensembles. One of those is typically a group of all-stars from the Berklee College  of Music. The 2013 Artist-in-Residence, Joe Lovano, helped open Friday night on the Garden Stage with a group from Berklee dubbed the Global Jazz Ambassadors. The Berklee Global Jazz Institute (BGJI) is a performance program designed to foster creativity and musicianship through various musical disciplines, with pianist and composer Danilo Pérez as its artistic director. The BGJI provides a comprehensive contemporary music environment where students are given opportunities to explore their creativity to the highest level possible, advance the power of music as a tool for the betterment of society, and connect musical creative thinking with the natural environment.