David Sanborn at Chene Park: a mixed bag

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Rudy

¡Que siga la fiesta!
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David Sanborn is one of those alto saxophonists who's been around virtually forever, and has played on virtually everyone's album. And IMHO, he's one of the few elite sidemen who have been able to step out from under others' shadows and make a name for himself. We attended a recent concert at Chene Park last week Wednesday (6/12/2002).

The show opened with acclaimed local guitarist Lawrence Barris, an easygoing sort of guitarist who would remind you of George Benson in his Breezin' mode, without the singing. An enjoyable set!

Things got worse as Sanborn came onstage. Without exception, Chene Park is one of the worst sounding venues in Detroit, if not the entire U.S. It's like a concrete and canvas fishbowl, and during a sound check, there's about a six-second reverb. The delay reduces somewhat when there are bodies in the seats, but that still doesn't improve the sound very much. Sanborn's engineer tried to compensate by cranking the volume beyond all reason...and it just came off as a headache-inducing mess.

From what I could hear, though, Sanborn and his tight band put on a great show. A surprise, to me, was the young up-and-coming jazz drummer, Terri Lynn Carrington, who was a rock solid anchor for the band. As with his Upfront tour, Don Alias was featured on percussion. He provided some amazing percussion feats (including playing a yellow plywood box!!), in addition to some comedy relief. During quieter songs, we could actually hear Sanborn play. Unlike the Upfront tour (the last one I'd seen), his song selection was all over the map. In fact, he played some songs he'd done throughout his career in the solo spotlight. He opened with "Chicago Song," and closed with "The Dream." He played two from Upfront (including an extended band-featurette on "Snakes"). He even went as far back as the title track from As We Speak.

In a better venue, I really would have enjoyed this concert a lot more. During Upfront, I saw him at Hill Auditorium, an all-plaster venue in Ann Arbor where the engineer saw fit to crank the treble to nosebleed-inducing levels. Ouch! I also saw Sanborn as part of a multi-artist "Montreux Festival" at Pine Knob back in August 2000...and it sounded excellent. It was also neat to have him pair up with Joe Sample for a couple of tracks, and Al Jarreau on "Since I Fell For You".

If I had to rate this on stars: David Sanborn and his entourage would get a 5 (out of five), but with the muddy sound, I'd rate it a 3, tops. Still puzzling how something so loud can be so inaudible...

-= N =-
 

Rim Kasputis

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Neil,
Thanks for the report on the Chene Park happenings. Just wanted to let you and others in the area know that Hugh Masakela will be perporming there also. Keep an eye on the local papers for dates and times if interested.
Rim.
 

Rudy

¡Que siga la fiesta!
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Chuck Mangione is there on July 31 (I missed most of his set last year after the Jackets played)...it's the day before the Rippingtons/Benoit/Ponty gig at Freedom Hill.

Speaking of the Trenton jazz festival, I have yet to see a lineup. We went down to see Joe Sample the day before the Jackets and Mangione last year...it was worth the trip!

The only thing on the slate this weekend is Liberty Fest. Taking the girls over there Saturday afternoon for the "Fun Zone" midway, maybe a bite at Taste of Canton, and we'll be camped out alongside the library to see the fireworks. We usually sit right off the road that runs between the playscape and the medical center--we live close enough to walk there. Beats the traffic! (Free parking by our house!) We'll have to see how the weather is tomorrow night--might take them to see Shrek (playing at the amphitheater).

-= N =-
...getting out the lawn chairs and deep-woods Off...
 

Rim Kasputis

Well-Known Member
I hope Liberty fest works out for you and the family... we have to get rid of these clouds first.
There are a few musical offerings around town I may drop in on.
My kids bought me tickets for Jim Brickman (Pop Jazz piano) at Meadowbrook for July 5th. It was a fathers day gift.
There is a piano bar in Plymouth , 336 Main, that features some jazz duets etc. that I have checked out. On Monday nights they advertise a jazz jam. I brought my horn and played some jazz standards with the piano player a month ago... Sure beats playin in the basement.
The Trenton Jazz sounds good, I am sure the lineup will be posted shortly.
Enjoy the weekend.
Rim Kasputis,
 
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