Cutout Concerto

Let's keep talking about David Sanborn for one more day

Cutout Concerto
Not a still from The Shining

The response to yesterday's David Sanborn post has been pretty gratifying, I gotta tell you — I felt real bad about chucking that thing out last-minute, and even as I hit "publish," I experienced a deep pang of regret about not having more time to write about the breadth of his work. Fortunately, Friend of Jefitoblog Scott Malchus inadvertently reminded me of the stuff Sanborn did for the Lethal Weapon 2 soundtrack, which in turn reminded me of the album I'm now serving up for you, Cutouts Gone Wild! style.

We're here today to discuss Michael Kamen's Concerto for Saxophone, which the noted composer wrote expressly for Sanborn to perform, and somehow convinced Warner Bros. to release in 1990. Given that Sanborn was on the way out of his long contract with the label, I suppose this may have been a sort of fulfillment exercise, an instrumentalist's version of the traditional best-of/live album gambit that has ushered countless acts off a roster.

Unlike most of those albums, Concerto for Saxophone is actually worth listening to. I will concede that once you get past the concerto's three movements (which my son tells me make this not a concerto), the album drifts toward the dodgier end of the spectrum, and one could justifiably argue that the disc's track listing was padded out to approach CD length instead of ending at its natural 21-minute span. That being as it may, the concerto itself is well worth listening to. Again courtesy of my son, I hasten to point out that concertos for saxophone are rare because the sax is a relatively new instrument — and it's a particular blessing that we were lucky enough to get one written by Michael Kamen for David Sanborn, two friends and musical titans meeting each other in their shared natural habitat.

All of which is to say that it's very stupid for this album to be out of print, and I was deeply offended to find that this state of affairs existed today. Download, enjoy, and perhaps use it as further justification to seek out other corners of the Sanborn oeuvre.
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