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On the Beach by Edgar Wallace Jr.

Detroit area saxophonist-keyboardist Edgar Wallace Jr. brings the Motown influence to smooth jazz with his debut CD On the Beach. Wallace shows not only his instrumental savvy, but shows he is a good writer as well Except for one track, Wallace penned the tracks with a special kind of flavor that shows his Detroit roots.

One thing that I liked about On the Beach is that Wallace does not try to oversell himself. However, there is a kind of quiet passion that he has in his playing. The songs Stolen Moments and Take My Hand bring this kind of passion out. However, Wallace can bop out with the best of them. Chene Park and Overdrive show Wallace's driving side that is still powerful, but has a softer edge that makes the CD very listenable.

Edgar Wallace Jr.'s On the Beach Motown influence doesn't stop with Wallace's performance. His backup musicians have worked with Motown's best, including Anita Baker, Hubert Laws, Earl Klugh, Oleta Adams and Aretha Franklin. They include bassist Al Turner, who coproduced the CD with Wallace, drummer Ron Otis, guitarist Johnny E. Lawrence and keyboardist Dave Grisa. Also of note is guitarist Tim Bowman also performs on Take My Hand and brings the level of the song to new heights.

On the Beach shows not only Edgar Wallace Jr.'s Motown influence, but the influence of late saxophonist Grover Washington Jr. With both those influences, On the Beach proves that Motown can meet the sound of Philadelphia on a smooth level. Wallace has a winner.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Edgar Wallace Jr.
  • CD Title: On the Beach
  • Genre: Smooth Jazz
  • Year Released: 2003
  • Record Label: First American Music Group
  • Rating: Three Stars
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