David Sanborn and Bob James

jdaytonj September 22, 2013 0
James Genus, David Sanborn and Bob James on the Jimmy Lyons Stage. Photo: Stephen Laufer / KUSP

James Genus, David Sanborn and Bob James on the Jimmy Lyons Stage. Photo: Stephen Laufer / KUSP

Two of the most familiar instrumental voices in jazz took the stage Sunday afternoon: alto saxophonist David Sanborn and pianist Bob James. The pair released an album called Quartette Humaine earlier this year, and the Sunday MJF set was faithful to its sound: a straight-ahead acoustic sound, long on familiar melodies. The record itself was inspired by the musical partnership between alto saxophonist Paul Desmond and pianist Dave Brubeck, a subject bound to go over well with the Monterey crowds that so often welcomed Desmond and Brubeck. Sanborn and James also reprised material from their previous collaboration, Double Vision (1986) – bassist Marcus Miller‘s composition “Maputo,” even in this acoustic setting, evocative of the smooth/fusion heyday of James’s career. The quartet is rounded out by the stolid bassist James Genus and legendary session drummer Steve Gadd – check out his myth-making solo on Steely Dan’s “Aja” (1977) if you want to know what makes him “legendary”.

Drummer Steve Gadd. Photo: Stephen Laufer / KUSP

Drummer Steve Gadd. Photo: Stephen Laufer / KUSP

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