Tuesday, May 14, 2024

David Sanborn - Anything You Want The Warner-Reprise-Elektra Years 1975-1999 [2020] (3 x CDs)


David Sanborn - Anything You Want The Warner-Reprise-Elektra Years 1975-1999 [2020] (3 x CDs)

David William Sanborn (July 30, 1945 - May 12, 2024) was an American alto saxophonist. Though Sanborn worked in many genres, his solo recordings typically blended jazz with instrumental pop and R&B. He released his first solo album Taking Off in 1975 but had been playing the saxophone since before he was in high school and was a session musician long before its release. He was active as a session musician, playing on several albums by various artists.

One of the most commercially successful American saxophonists to earn prominence since the 1980s, Sanborn was described by critic Scott Yanow as "the most influential saxophonist on pop, R&B, and crossover players of the past 20 years." He was often identified with radio-friendly smooth jazz but expressed a disinclination for the genre and his association with it. (Wikipedia)

David Sanborn’s musical odyssey commenced in St. Louis, Missouri, where he discovered comfort and creative stimulation in the blues. Despite being afflicted with polio at a tender age, which could have potentially subdued his spirit, it instead sparked his profound affection for the saxophone. By the time he was 14, Sanborn had already graced the stage alongside blues luminaries such as Albert King and Little Milton. His pursuit of formal music education led him to esteemed institutions like Northwestern University and the University of Iowa, where he honed his skills under the tutelage of saxophonist JR Monterose.  Sanborn’s partnerships with legendary figures like Stevie Wonder, The Rolling Stones, and David Bowie fortified his standing as a musician of extraordinary talent and adaptability. However, it was his solo career that truly enshrined Sanborn’s legacy as a musical icon. His discography, which includes over 25 albums, from the evergreen classic “Taking Off” to the chart-busting “Hideaway,” has garnered him six Grammy Awards and numerous Gold and Platinum accolades.

Sanborn’s influence transcends the recording studio and concert stage, extending into television and radio, where he hosted popular shows like “Night Music” and “The Jazz Show with David Sanborn,” enthralling audiences with his charismatic personality and unmatched musical prowess. His recent projects, such as “Sanborn Sessions” and the podcast series “As We Speak,” highlight his unwavering commitment to his craft and his dedication to fostering the musical talent of the future generation.

Sanborn’s impact on the musical landscape is irrefutable. He has been a source of inspiration for innumerable budding musicians to embrace the saxophone and delve into the realm of jazz fusion. His knack for genre-blending and crafting accessible music has played a pivotal role in expanding the reach of jazz and introducing it to a fresh cohort of listeners. As a true artist who constantly pushed boundaries and defied the norm, Sanborn’s music will eternally resonate in the hearts and minds of all those fortunate enough to experience its enchantment.

David Sanborn’s box set, “Anything You Want: The Warner-Reprise-Elektra Years 1975-1999” [2020], is a significant contribution to the world of music, encapsulating the essence of his illustrious career. This collection is a reflection of his journey and evolution as an artist. 

This three-CD set was issued to mark two significant milestones: Sanborn’s 75th birthday and the 45th anniversary of his first LP. It explores all 17 albums he recorded as a solo artist, from “Taking Off” in 1975 to “Inside” in 1999. The collection includes radio edits and live cuts, offering a comprehensive overview of his work.

The box set is important because it showcases Sanborn’s versatility and his ability to transcend genres. Each CD focuses on different aspects of his output. The first CD, “New York Dave & The Cali-Crossover Express,” covers his early stage of New York fusion and its crossover with the Los Angeles music scene. The second CD, “Sanborn: Soul Man,” highlights his expansive soul and funk output. The third CD, “Evening Ember Evocations,” is a mix of blues, interpretations of songs by various artists, lush orchestral pieces, and rearrangements of jazz standards. Sanborn’s box set is also significant because it establishes his legend as one of the world’s most sought-after alto saxophone players. His performances are infused with explosive energy, and his unique style has made him a dominant figure in the world of alto saxophone.

In conclusion, “Anything You Want: The Warner-Reprise-Elektra Years 1975-1999” [2020] is a crucial piece of music history. It not only celebrates Sanborn’s remarkable career but also serves as an inspiration for future generations of musicians. This box set is a fitting tribute to a living legend, capturing the spirit and the passion that David Sanborn has brought to the world of music (B)






Track lists


01 David Sanborn - Flight 4:03

02 David Sanborn - It Took A Long Time 3:29

03 David Sanborn - Heba 4:33

04 David Sanborn - Short Visit 7:48

05 David Sanborn - Stranger's Arms 4:21

06 David Sanborn - Anything You Want 3:43

07 David Sanborn - As We Speak 4:11

08 David Sanborn - This Masquerade 5:44

09 David Sanborn - Benjamin 1:32

10 David Sanborn - Carly's Song 5:10

11 David Sanborn (Feat. Oleta Adams) - Nobody Does It Better 4:39

12 David Sanborn - Lesley Ann (Edit) 4:01

13 David Sanborn - The Dream (Remix / Edit) 4:08

14 David Sanborn (Feat. Linda Ronstadt) - The Water Is Wide 4:27

15 David Sanborn - I Do It For Your Love 2:45

16 David Sanborn - Smile (Live) 10:37


01 David Sanborn - High Roller 4:38

02 David Sanborn - Duck Ankles! 3:19

03 David Sanborn - Wake Me When It's Over 5:38

04 David Sanborn (Feat.Hamish Stuart) - Love & Happiness (Live) 6:44

05 David Sanborn - I Told U So 5:02

06 David Sanborn - Snakes 7:03

07 David Sanborn (Feat.Howard Hewett) - Got To Give It Up (Remix Edit) 3:56

08 David Sanborn (Feat. Marcus Miller) - Believer (Dance Music Mix) 7:25

09 David Sanborn - Slam (Edit) 4:07

10 David Sanborn - Chicago Song (Edit) 4:35

11 David Sanborn - All I Need Is You (Edit) 3:40

12 David Sanborn - Neither One Of Us (Wants To Be The First To Say Goodbye) 5:02

13 David Sanborn - Let's Just Say Goodbye 4:34

14 David Sanborn - Bang! Bang! (Album Edit) 4:00

15 David Sanborn - Summer 5:44


01 David Sanborn - Benny 5:46

02 David Sanborn - It's You 5:10

03 David Sanborn - Jesus 3:34

04 David Sanborn - Naked Moon 5:36

05 David Sanborn - Infant Eyes 3:27

06 David Sanborn - Brother Ray 5:53

07 David Sanborn - Come Rain Or Come Shine 4:34

08 David Sanborn - Lisa (Live) 5:05

09 David Sanborn (Feat. Cassandra Wilson & Eric Bene't) - Daydreaming 5:30

10 David Sanborn - Imogene 5:25

11 David Sanborn - Same Girl 2:18

12 David Sanborn - Pearls 4:51

13 David Sanborn - Come To Me, Nina 5:28

14 David Sanborn (Feat. Jimmy Scott) - For All We Know 4:32

15 David Sanborn - Lotus Blossom (Live) 7:02




  1. Replies
    1. Hi Dr Robert.
      Thanks for the nudge. He deserves some recognition like this.

  2. Thanks for this Butterboy, I didn't know that he had died until I read it here today. First I heard of David Sanborn was when he was with the Paul Butterfield Blues Band in the late 1960s, so he certainly had a very long and varied musical career. Anyway a sad loss and RIP.

    1. You're welcome, Bob Mac.
      I should have posted it earlier bout got caught up with other things. I am sure many will have missed the fact that he had died. It's a good compilation highlighting his talents.

  3. Guy got criticized for his smooth jazz takes, but he also had some serious chops annd was well respected by a ton of professional musicians. He spent two years confined to an iron lung when he battled polio as a kid. God speed, Mr. Sanborn. Thanks, BB.

    1. It was my pleasure to post this one, pmac.

  4. DB also played the great solo on James Taylor's version of How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You.

    Now off you go and play that song!

    1. Thanks, Des Cargar.
      Always worth a further listen.