Song:Straight To The Heart
Sax player David Sanborn started out as a sideman and session musician and became a big jazz crossover star in the 80s. A lot of this was because he seemed to appear on TV a lot. Straight To The Heart is from his 1981 album As We Speak which topped the jazz charts. He was born July 30, 1945 in Tampa, FL but he grew up in Kirkwood, MO. He suffered from polio as a child and his doctor suggested he take up the sax to improve his health. I guess the rest is history. Hank Crawford was Sanborn's biggest childhood influence and Crawford was an R & B influenced musician. As a teen, he moved to California and joined The Paul Butterfield Blues Band. He also studied with free jazz pioneer Julius Hemphill. By the early 70s, Sanborn moved to Los Angeles and settled into session work. Most fans should recall his sax solo on David Bowie's Young Americans. But he also played with Gil Evans and he was an original member of The Brecker Bros. Band. Sanborn signed with Warner Bros. and released his debut album Taking Off in 1975. His 1979 album Hideaway reached #2 on the jazz chart and the single crossed over to R & B. The 1980 album Voyeur was his first number one jazz album. That album won him a Grammy. Straight To The Heart is from the 1981 album As We Speak which topped the jazz chart. The song was written by bassist Marcus Miller who also played on the album. Other musicians were Don Freeman on keyboards, Michael Sembello on guitar, Omar Hakim on drums and Paulinho Da Costa on percussion. The song also appears on the 1984 album Straight To The Heart which featured The Brecker Bros. and Jon Faddis on horns. The 1981 recording is on this 1995 budget comp that I suggest as an intro to Sanborn's music. By the late 80s, Sanborn was host of the NBC show Night Music and he appeared regularly on Late Night with David Letterman. He also got into film music and worked on the Lethal Weapon movies. Sanborn recorded for Warners and then Elektra until 1999. He has since recorded for Verve, EmArcy and her currently records for Sony's Okeh label. His latest CD Time and the River was released Apr. 2015 and it reunites him with Marcus Miller. He will tour this summer to support the album. Here's David Sanborn with Larry Willis on keyboards, Hiram Bullock on guitar, Tom Barney on bass and Buddy Williams on drums performing Straight To The Heart at the 1984 Montreux Jazz Festival.