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Bob James & David Sanborn: Quartette Humaine (2013) CD Review

by May 17, 2014
Bob James & David Sanborn: Quartette Humaine (2013)

Bob James & David Sanborn: Quartette Humaine (2013)

Label: Sony Masterworks (VICJ-61684)

Track List

1)    You Better Not Go To College

2)    Geste Humaine

3)    Sofia

4)    Follow Me

5)    My Old Flame

6)    Another Time, Another Place

7)    Montezuma

8)    The Night Has A Thousand Eyes*

9)    Genevieve

10)    Deep In The Weeds

11)    Maputo*

*Japanese import bonus tracks


I could say “this is not your father's Bob James & David Sanborn CD”, except I'm the same age my father was when their first (and only other) CD was released in the mid-1980's! That release—Double Vision—won a Grammy in 1987 for Best Jazz Fusion Performance. I don't think anyone could have predicted the direction these two jazz icons have taken with their second collaborative release. They swapped out 20th century jazz bass superstar Marcus Miller for 21st century bass extraordinaire James Genus to produce a mostly straight-ahead jazz set that is a throwback to when their careers first began in the late 1950's and early 1960's. The two additional tracks on the Japanese import CD result in a significantly longer run-time of 68'18” vs. the US release run-time of 55'26”.

Audio Quality

From the first note to the last, I will be the first to admit I NEVER expected to hear this style of music from these artists at this point in their careers. Maybe that's what makes this release all the more special, as we're likely never to experience it again. My favorite tracks are Geste Humaine and Montezuma. There's something special about Geste Humaine that I can't quite put my finger on; when prolific writers like James and Sanborn choose to include other writer's contributions on their release, it's usually for a good reason. Why? Because the album artist won't get writer's royalties for those tracks (which can be a significant source of future income depending on album/CD/MP3 sales)! Drummers will want to check this CD out just to hear the brush work on several tracks of the iconic Steve Gadd. The bonus tracks are both very good, and Deep In The Weeds has a throw-back feel that garnered some radio airplay. The only track I really don't like is Follow Me.


For you vinyl lovers, a 180g vinyl pressing is available with significantly fewer tracks (six) due to the limited run-time of the media. However, they did include a mesmerizing duet of the almost unrecognizable Maputo (a cover from their first release) which—by the way—does not appear on the US version of the CD. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that the Maputo duet alone is worth getting either the US LP or Japanese CD. This is one of those instances where the import version is definitely worth the extra music if you can spring for it (Japanese releases are typically twice the retail price of domestic releases). No matter the format, you're sure to enjoy the fantastic performances and outstanding production values of this release.


Audio Quality: 5/5

Features (liner notes) 4/5

Overall: 4/5

Reference Equipment

  • Yamaha DSP-A1 Natural Sound A/V Amplifier (Stereo Mode)
  • Pioneer Elite CLD-99 Reference LD Player
  • Polk Monitor 10B Speakers (x2)



About the author:
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Stanton was born and raised in Kansas City, where he was exposed to the rich culture of jazz at a very young age. He's a drummer and an electrical engineer and loves to review jazz music for us.

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