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David Sanborn


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Tampa, Florida

David Sanborn (born July 30, 1945) is an American saxophonist, most commonly associated with smooth and -jazz fusion, along with a slight rock ‘n’ roll/ style. He was born in Tampa, Florida and grew up in Kirkwood, Missouri.

Sanborn, who suffered from polio in his youth, has been a highly regarded session player since the mid 1970s. One of his first professional gigs was as a member of Paul Butterfield’s band. One of Sanborn’s earliest guest recordings was on David Bowie’s Young Americans. Around this time his output as a session player became prolific and over the next ten years he played with a dazzling array of artists, such as Paul Simon, James Taylor (contributing to the remake of the Marvin Gaye classic “How Sweet It Is”), The Rolling Stones, The Eagles and Stevie Wonder.

In the late 1980s he was a regular guest member of Paul Shaffer’s band on Late Night with David Letterman. From 1988-89, he co-hosted a late-night TV music show on NBC with Jools Holland. The show, “Night Music”, following producer Hal Willner’s eclectic approach, drew Sanborn together with many famed musicians, such as Miles Davis, Lou Reed, Santana, Curtis Mayfield, and many others.

Throughout his career, Sanborn has skirted the edges of free jazz: In his youth he studied with Roscoe Mitchell and Julius Hemphill, and performed on Tim Berne’s Diminutive Mysteries, dedicated to Hemphill.


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  • PowersauceBar

    Can't forget Sad Cafe by Eagles.

    2 Jan 5:20am Reply
  • Assedor

    His sound and style of play, gives to his performances a special charm.

    18 Oct 2014 Reply

    David Sanborn, this Man can make his saxophone talk and scream he plays so damn good ..... Watching him play or listening to him play could end up being very personal ..... I may forget that I am with someone - that's why I go alone to see him ..... Just David, his saxophone, and me ......

    9 Mar 2014 Reply
  • WilliamStonier

    His funk stuff is just mindblowing

    10 Mar 2012 Reply
  • enyafan27

    I love Man From Mars.

    6 Nov 2011 Reply
  • kaly_

    Happy Birthday ! <3

    30 Jul 2011 Reply
  • calhounschild

    Reliably soothing!

    17 Dec 2010 Reply
  • HoLyGuN1907

    cant believe stoney lonesome and brother ray didnt make it to list

    21 Nov 2010 Reply
  • Lempea

    love his work on the Lethal Weapon series!

    2 Nov 2010 Reply
  • floydalbert

    Great Jazz Groups!

    29 Jun 2010 Reply
  • DonBusch


    20 Jun 2010 Reply
  • Mike_Yorke

    Dave has been one of my faves since I was learning Saxophone :-)

    8 Mar 2010 Reply
  • pjaesr

    who is the lady singing on Sanborne's PEARLS CD'S selection "for all we know". This the heart felt rendition. It is so beautiful. Can anyone help me>

    17 Dec 2009 Reply
  • Musicflyer

    I can´t believe that Straight to the Heart can´t be listened. We miss Hiriam.

    23 Oct 2009 Reply
  • SelmersN8mare

    Who knows what´s his Sax model ? The brand is Selmer, I know, and he bought it used in 83. It´s also shown on the DVD cover of "Live in Montreux 1984". Thanks for reply

    30 Aug 2009 Reply
  • keisuh

    crying is the discription of his tone and sound in Japanese. correct.

    1 Aug 2009 Reply

    30 May 2009 Reply
  • dougfather

    his sax just touches my very soul

    8 Mar 2009 Reply
  • herr_bersel

    I wish I could play like that....

    27 Feb 2009 Reply
  • Vyxenne

    There needs to be a new word created just for his music. Exquisite doesn't come close.

    14 Feb 2009 Reply
  • All 35 shouts