Notorious for shunning concert performances, Steely Dan's improbable live reunion in the mid-'90s eventually turned into a full-fledged reunion album. Since Steely Dan fans went two decades without even the hope of a new record, the very prospect was a delight, but it was also a little worrying, since a botched comeback would tarnish the band's legacy. Fortunately, Two Against Nature is as seductive and alluring as the best of Steely Dan's later work, with a similar emphasis on classy atmosphere and groove.
Master saxophonist David Sanborn makes an astounding label debut with Time Again, and once again reminds his fans that he is firmly established as one of jazz's best alto saxophonists. Joined by an all-star ensemble of master musicians that includes Russell Malone on guitar, Steve Gadd on drums, Christian McBride on bass, Mike Mainieri on vibraphone, and Randy Brecker on trumpet and flugelhorn, among others, David Sanborn delves deep into his seemingly never-ending repertoire to bring his distinctive sound to a variety of pop and jazz standards. Opening with a super-funky rendition of "Comin' Home," Sanborn reveals the culmination of hard work and staying power with a powerful statement of the melody which seamlessly segues into awesome solos taken by Mainieri and McBride.