Directly following his adventurous Another Hand, some listeners were disappointed with the fact that David Sanborn did not permanently switch from R&B/crossover to creative jazz. However, Upfront is generally quite appealing and takes some chances within its genre. Although bassist Marcus Miller is once again an important collaborator, the emphasis is on "real" instruments, most notably the organ of Ricky Peterson. Other musicians in the backup groups include John Purcell on various reeds, trumpeter Randy Brecker, drummer Steve Jordan and guest Eric Clapton, who takes a guitar solo on "Full House." The most unusual selection is the final cut, a version of Ornette Coleman's "Ramblin'" that finds Sanborn, Miller, Peterson and Jordan joined by the avant-garde trumpeter Herb Robertson. Overall, this is an above-average effort from the highly influential altoist.
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AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow