David Sanborn says he isn't one to reminisce or look back on his past work. But compiling the new "Then Again: The David Sanborn Anthology" was a pleasant trip down memory lane.
"I don't spend a lot of time looking back on my life, but this kind of forced me to re-examine some of that," says Sanborn, 67, who's released more than two dozen albums of his own and played sessions for Eric Clapton, George Benson, Quincy Jones, James Taylor, Billy Joel and scores of others. "There's a lot of stuff I hadn't thought about in years and years, so doing this put me in a different kind of place, completely.
"It was interesting process. There was a lot of stuff that sounded better than I remembered it, and some of the stuff made me cringe a little bit. But mostly I felt like everything help up pretty well. I'm proud of everything I've done and the great people I've gotten to play with, on my records and theirs. It feels pretty good."
Sanborn is hardly slowing down, however. Playing shows with much younger keyboardist Brian Culbertson (39), according to Sanborn, "really kicks my butt. It's two hours, and it's a workout, non-stop energy." He's also guested on recent albums by guitarists Earl Klugh, Mike Stern and Peter White, and Sanborn is eyeballing "a couple" of potential projects, including a collaboration with keyboardist Joey DeFrancesco.
"I'm just in the early stages of figuring everything out," he reports. "Really, I'm just trying to do the same thing now as I was 25 years ago -- or more. I'm just trying to figure out how to play better. That hasn't changed. That's what it's always been about, and still is."
David Sanborn and Brian Culbertson perform at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 22, at the Chene Park Amphitheatre, 2600 E. Atwater, Detroit. Tickets are $32 and $17 pavilion, $12 lawn. Call 313-393-7128 or visit www.cheneparkdetroit.com
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