The ‘80s: David Sanborn’s ‘A Change Of Heart’

davidsanborn1While many artists were influenced by singing or playing music in church, a school band, growing up in a musical family, or seeing a particular artist perform who inspired them,  that wasn’t the case with saxophonist David Sanborn. When he was three years old, the St. Louis native was diagnosed with polio and was introduced to the saxophone as part of his treatment therapy. By the time he was in his early teens, he was playing with legendary artists such as Little Milton and Albert King, going on to study music at Northwestern University and then later at University of Iowa.

DavidSanborn2Sanborn eventually moved to California and began recording and touring. He played at Woodstock with Paul Butterfield, recorded on Stevie Wonder’s Talking Book album, and toured with The Rolling Stones and David Bowie. Fun Fact: It was Sanborn who provided the saxophone solo on Bowie’s 1975 hit song “Young Americans.” 

Among his two dozen albums released over the years, the six-time Grammy Award winner released one of his most popular albums, A Change Of Heart, in 1987. While it wasn’t his most commercially successful, it didn’t do too badly on the charts, peaking at #3 on the Top Contemporary Jazz Albums chart, #43 on the R&B chart, and #74 on the Billboard 200.

A Change Of Heart was a mix of danceable, mellow tunes written and produced by bassist Marcus Miller and keyboardists Phillip Saisse, Ronnie Foster, and Michael Colina. The album includes the sensual groove of songs such as the title track, “Imogene,” and “The Dream,” the latter of which was written by Michael Sembello, who performed and co-wrote the tune “Maniac” from the feature film Flashdance.  Among the various up-tempo tracks included on the album, the funky “Chicago Song” is still one of Sanborn’s most popular tunes and a fan-pleasing concert favorite.

—Montrose Cunningham

Montrose Cunningham is a Dallas, Texas-based, independent funk/rock/soul artist and devoted music aficionado, with a Master of Science degree in Marketing. When he isn’t digging through the crates–digital and analog–he’s jamming with his band or hanging with his daughters, sometimes at the same time. Purchase his release Inertia at, follow him on Twitter @MontroseC and check out his blog, Daddy Rock Star.

One Comment

  1. Jason Elias says:

    Very cool Montrose, this is one of my favorite David Sanborn albums.

Leave a Comment

Powered by WordPress | Site by Fishbucket