David Sanborn .:|:. Hearsay -[Elektra/WEA Records, 1994]
The incomparable, distinctive and influential sax legend David Sanborn has pretty much stayed the course during his early years playing it safe with radio friendly hook filled pop-rock-funk instrumental songs. Meanwhile, he obviously felt a need to switch gears again as he incorporated what seemed an abrasive funky-side of his songbook anchored to his St. Louis roots. Once again, he seemed not satisfied with his position and transcend into a new direction musically by answering his critics dabbling into a contrasting style to readjust his sound on Another Hand which scared the heck out of his fan-base.
With this project, Sanborn roared out of the box with an intense in your face groove titled “Savanna.” Yes, as I vividly remember this jam sounds so much like songs from his “Close Up” release in 1990. Hmmm, this jam didn’t quite mirror the imprint his earlier stuff … in other words he didn’t fall victim to being cornered in the box with no glass ceiling to gleam through hoping he had recorded something different. With that said, Sanborn caught me off guard by recording Marvin Gaye’s “Got to Give it Up,” … it’s pretty obvious that he wasn’t expecting airplay on AC radio stations. Why fret the small stuff … right? As I attempted to adjust the volume on Hearsay, Sanborn’s swagger never seems to sway … he’s definitely tight!
For those doubt, Sanborn came to play by facing the music for what it is regardless what the consequences were! What I love most about Hearsay, is that it’s emotionally charged with polarizing grooves attached to the linage of his very soul. Furthermore, it appears that Sanborn didn’t waste time trying to appease the listener with this project. As you gage the pulse of Hearsay, you’ll hear the fire from within his soul boiling into a cauldron of satisfying music that’s ready to explode into your space as you listen you’ll soon surrender to what he’s articulating in depth with each heartfelt song!
As you can tell, this is unequivocally fits in the mainstream of my kind of music. Shaken, flipped and well stirred! Frankly, I thoroughly enjoy most of, if not all ofSanborn’s albums. Hearsay it seemed to me … a defining moment of his career, it was the record that reshaped his musical canvas without comprising his distinct sound. —Rob Young