Whenever I hear L.A.-vetted jazz like this, stuff that at first appears to have been commissioned by the “Weather Scan” channel, I picture a beret-topped cartoon jazz wonk spitting and cursing. Being a casual watcher of Weather Scan myself (sometimes I’ll watch it even if I’m not sitting in a Holiday Inn), I swear I’ve heard the kickoff tune “Put the Top Down” before, but it’s an original, a cloudy, edgy-but-harmless, genre-less new original, Sheila E doing sleepy honors on bongos. In other words, the Second Coming of David Sanborn, as this ubiquitous saxplayer is known, is in top form for his Concord Jazz debut. All is right in this world: safe, non-toxic breeze abounds, an image of Steely Dan doing honky-reggae on “Getaway,” some non-strenuous vocal work by Joss Stone-soundalike Dana Glover on “Start All Over Again.” As with whipped cream on tapioca, some people want ultra-commercial jazz and some don’t; life’s pleasures can be very simple.
B —Eric W. Saeger