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Bob James & David Sanborn - Double Vision

Artists : Bob James &
David Sanborn
Album : Double Vision
Year : 1986
Label : Warner Brothers
round midnight

Personnel : Bob James - Piano | David Sanborn - Sax | Robbie Kilgore - Synth Programming | Paul Jackson Jr. - Guitar | Eric Gale - Guitar | Marcus Miller - Bass | Steve Gadd - Drums | Paulinho Da Costa - Percusion | Bob Riley - Drum Programming | Al Jarreau - Vocals

I don't write too many album reviews these days about the current jazz artists, having spent 30 years plus doing so for various magazines and websites I focus on the ' old school mainstream albums ' nowadays to introduce today's jazz fans to the legacy left by our forepersons.

However for the past 28 years of producing the JazzNet247 Project I have bought, played and been serviced with tens of thousands of albums and ' Double Vision ' stands out ' head and shoulders ' above all of them.

My personal recipe for an outstanding album is quite simple, Great Musicians, Great Songs and a Great Production, sounds simple, but the most important ingredient in my opinion for a great song is that ' you can remember something about it after just one listen '. With a vocal it could be a catchy chorus, or with an instrumental, a hook or riff which stands out.

Incidentally one of David Sanborn's other tracks is my ' All Time ' favourite, i.e. ' Chicago Song ', after just one play from his ' A Change Of Heart (1987) ' set and it was engrained in my memory, and until this day I never tire of hearing that song and still get goosebumps whenever I hear it.

' Double Vision ' was fronted by two of the all time greats in modern Fusion Jazz / R'n'B, namely keyboard maestro Bob James and saxophonist extraordinaire David Sanborn, both of whom had released many albums, and indeed other collaborations beforehand, but Warner Brothers released the album to rapturous acclaims from critics, press, artists and jazz fans alike and the album spent 63 weeks on the Billboard Charts and peaked at No.16 on the R'n'B Albums Chart.

Another key ingredient was the personnel on the album, Al Jarreau is one of the most recognized vocalists of this era and his song ' Moonlighting ' was the theme tune for the ABC Comedy-Drama of the same name starring Bruce Willis and Cybil Shepherd which aired between 1985 - 1989. Al joins Bob and David on the sensational ballad ' Since I Fell For You ', the only vocal on the set of 7 outstanding tracks. ( LP's were the format of choice in 1986, albums were limited to circa 20 minutes per side. )

However the track which starts the album off is ' Maputo ' which is a haunting ballad with outstanding basswork from Marcus Miller and the much in demand drummer of the day Steve Gadd, both solos are a delight and the interplay superb. Drum units and sequencers will never replace real musicians for the intricacy of their Interpretation and Touch and personally, I just don't like them on jazz recordings, listen to the maestros i.e. Buddy Rich, Gene Kuppa, Philly Joe Jones or Art Blakey to understand why.

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Bob James & David Sanborn - Double Vision

' More Than Friends ' features David Sanborn close harmonizing his sax on this velvet coloured ballad that once agains features the rhythm section with syncopated interplay which compliments James' unobtrusive conjunction with the melody line.

' Moon Tune ' features one of those aformentioned mesmerizing hooks, and like a true classical piece it builds on the momentum to reach a harmonized sax crescendo with Bob James adding a wonderful solo, Marcus Miller's matching melody on bass with sax is also a feature of this particular cut and must have required much rehearsal time to get this perfect production.

' It's You ' is one of the most played tracks from this album on JazzNet247 Radio and it is truly a blissful journey akin to a canal jouney on a summer's day with lapping sax caressing your eardrums and again David Sanborn's lead as soft as an evening breeze. Bob James' solo is his unmistakable piano vibe which was synonymous with his playing with Earl Klugh on ' One On One ' from 1979.

' Never Enough ' is another haunting melody on this heavenly journey into the world of bliss with Bob James taking his piano lead earlier than in other tracks and sustaining the interplay with the saxophone throughout this track which breaks at right angles for an electric piano solo midway.

The album concludes with the single ' You Don't Know Me ' which is one of the most covered songs from the album and this ballad features solos from both of the main protagonists, but the journey of tempos here is the feature of the track which extends to a finale with Sanborn interplaying with James and guitarist Paul Jackson Jr.

For those of you who are new to Jazz and especially Smooth Jazz ( or Adult Contemporary as I label it in my History Of Jazz Serialization ), this is a must have ' Go To ' album by some of the finest musicians ever to adorn the music industry and one that I think you will enjoy wholeheartedly and play time and time again.

Review by Wes George
(former Webmaster & Marketer with Sony Jazz)
and reviewer to Sony Jazz, Jazz In Europe, All That Jazz, The EuroClub de Jazz, JazzNet247 and The Sounds Of Brazil.

Similar Artists - Kenny G, Marion Meadows, Najee, Wilton Felder, Tom Scott, Gregg Karukas, Joe Sample, George Duke, Bob Baldwin, Quincy Jones, Jeff Lorber

Previously : Gil Evans
Next Time :
Paul Desmond - Take Ten

* Also see :- The History Of Jazz
* Also see :- Louis Armstrong Biography
* Also see :- Dave Brubeck Biography
* Also see :- John Hammond Biography
* Also see :- Nica de Koenigswarter Biography
* Also see :- 52nd Street
* Also see :- Tin Pan Alley

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