I spend more than 75% of my time on stage improvising. And when I don’t do that, I play the horn lines that I have written. Because of this, something that David Sanborn said really resonated with me:
Its all about finding the right note at the right place and knowing when to leave well enough alone. And that’s a lifelong quest.
I think this is beautifully illustrated in this version of The Dream, performed at a jazz festival in 1995. Here Sanborn takes his famous ballad, and uses space and a variety of fill notes in his solo, to create a version that is quite different to the original recorded release. He is clearly experimenting with trying to find “the right note at the right place and knowing when to leave well enough alone.” The outcome is quite beautiful.