David Sanborn Remembers David Bowie

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Monday September 26, 2016

From Esquire

The Making of David Bowie’s Lost Soul Album
By: Jeff Slate

“The brilliance of Bowie was that he gave us the framework and then it was the unseen, unfelt hand of guidance from him,” says Sanborn. “He was very clearly in charge, but was not ‘in charge,’ if you know what I mean.” Garson uses a Hollywood metaphor to describe Bowie’s method of overseeing the musicians. “I always think of David as the ultimate casting director,” he says, summing it all up. “When he chose people, he let them do their thing.”

While the interplay between Garson, Alomar, and the rhythm section throughout The Gouster is astonishingly tight and deeply soulful, it’s Sanborn’s saxophone that truly steals the show. “I think David and I bonded because he was a saxophone player, too,” says Sanborn. “The way he presented it to me at the outset of the sessions was, ‘There’s not going to be any lead guitar on this record. There’s going to be rhythm guitar and bass and drums and piano. You’re going to be the lead guitar.’ I didn’t really know how that was going to work, but I put myself in that mindset.”

Accordingly, Sanborn remembers the sessions as a seat-of-the-pants experience. “I really didn’t have any parts,” he says. “But I had been on the road with him, so we had a kind of dialogue. That was one of the great, great things about working with him: He was so responsive to input.”

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