As a rule, David Sanborn's Elektra output of the '90s had integrity. Whether he was being exploratory and introspective on Another Hand or taking a more commercial, R&B-minded approach on Inside, Sanborn avoided recording outright schlock during that decade. Make no mistake: Inside is far from straight-ahead acoustic jazz. Produced by Marcus Miller and boasting such guest vocalists as Sting, Cassandra Wilson, Eric Benet and Lalah Hathaway, Inside is definitely a commercial album. But commercial isn't necessarily a bad thing, and most of the material is tasteful. Whether he's getting into instrumental funk-jazz grooves on "Brother Ray," "Corners," and "Trance" or featuring Wilson on a likable remake of Aretha Franklin's "Daydreaming," this CD is certainly not without its pleasures. The high point of the album, however, is Sting's haunting cameo on a cover of Bill Withers' "Ain't No Sunshine." Some of Sanborn's solos could have been longer, but all things considered, Inside is pleasing, if less than essential.
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