I had the chance to go visit David Sanborn in the recording studio last week. He was recording a new record with Steve Gadd, Joey DeFrancesco, Gil Goldstein... among others. Phil Ramone was producing.
We listened back to "You've Changed," "Gee honey ain't I good to you," and "God Bless the Child."
This music is classic, yet still visceral, Dave's playing is bold and raw, heartbreaking and triumphant from one breath to the next. But, as with most of my musical heroes, he wasn't sure it was 'good enough.'
Dave is a perfectionist, to the point of obsession. But like so many people I admire, he takes nothing for granted, and, most of the time, thinks he really sucks. He is a master, he IS the sound of the saxophone, he IS the one that everyone imitates, and yet he still questions every note, every musical decision. Well, as far as I'm concerned, the songs I heard are DONE. they've got everything they need. You hear the pathos, the struggle, there's space, and dynamics. The musicianship is ridiculous and yet effortless.
Just another gentle reminder that we're not alone out there battling the "i suck" factor. It's just part of the creative deal. I know I've talked about it before, but it definitely bears restating.
And maybe the point is, the second you really think you are the cat's pajamas? That's when you might actually suck after all!!