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David Sancious
R&B


David Sancious is a very difficult musician to categorize. The highly versatile keyboardist/guitarist/composer genuinely appreciates everything from classical to rock, jazz, blues, and funk, and while that may intimidate some marketing people -- who like musicians to fit neatly into one category -- it has earned Sancious the respect of everyone from Sting to Bryan Ferry. Born in Long Branch, NJ, on November 30, 1953, Sancious was only in his late teens when, in the early '70s, he was hired as the keyboardist for Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band. After appearing on Springsteen's first three albums (Greetings from Asbury Park, NJ, The Wild, the Innocent and the E Street Shuffle, and Born to Run), Sancious left the E Street Band in 1975 and signed with Epic as a solo artist. A radical departure from the type of earthy, Bob Dylan-influenced roots rock he had played with the Boss, Sancious' own albums found him exploring progressive rock and instrumental jazz fusion. Sancious' first solo album, Forest of Feelings, came in 1975, followed by Transformation and Tone in 1976. The following year, he left Epic for Arista, recording Dance of the Age of Enlightenment in 1977, True Stories in 1978, and Just As I Thought in 1979. After 1982's The Bridge on Elektra Musician, he waited 18 years before recording as a leader again. Not until 2000's unaccompanied Nine Piano Improvisations -- which Sancious released on his own Not By Sight label and sold over the Internet -- did he provide another album. But he was hardly idle in the 1980s or 1990s; between The Bridge and Nine Piano Improvisations, Sancious kept busy backing everyone from Sting, Peter Gabriel, and Bryan Ferry to African pop artist Youssou N'Dour. Most of Sancious' 1970s recordings are out of print, although One Way was scheduled to reissue True Stories and Just As I Thought on CD in early 2001. Alex Henderson

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