Ae7. What makes different jazz styles valuable?
Relaxing on his couch in a sky-blue shirt, khakis and brown suede shoes, [David] Sanborn insists that [Hank] Crawford’s early Atlantic albums mean as much to him as Ornette Coleman’s early Atlantic releases, also personal favorites. But how can that be? How can Crawford’s R&B instrumentals mean as much as Coleman’s precedent-shattering free-jazz breakthrough? How can the first alto saxophonist’s simply constructed blues live up to the second’s leap beyond conventional chord changes? Sanborn has to stop and think about that for a few minutes.
“I want to hear a story from a musician,” he says finally, tentatively, “but there are different ways of telling a story. You can tell a story by deconstructing a song’s harmony and showing another side to it, as Ornette did. But you can also tell a story by sticking to the original harmony and making an emotional connection through your timbre, as Hank did. Both are equally valid to me.”