Picks and Pans Review: Twilight Time

updated 06/02/1986 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 06/02/1986 01:00AM

Bennie Wallace

This richly textured LP, Wallace's first for a major U.S. label, embraces all the styles the 38-year-old itinerant sax player has steeped himself in for the past 20 years. "This is music about redneck bars like Katie's 4 O'clock Club and the Little Indian Rock Grill...after hours clubs on East Ninth Street in Chattanooga...street bands in New Orleans, Texas blues, Saturday night dances and the Tennessee Waltz," says Wallace. He forgot to mention Dixieland, bebop and the New York avant-garde jazz scene. As a leader, Wallace has recorded with Chick Corea and Elvin Jones, among others. His new band is major league caliber too. The album's opening cut, All Night Dance, features guitar licks by Ste-vie Ray Vaughan that would make B.B. King and his Lucille salute. New Orleans pianist Mac "Dr. John" Rebennack, drummer Jack DeJohnette and bassist Eddie Gomez add luster to the Tennessee Waltz, the '30s tune Is It True What They Say About Dixie? and the avant-garde Fresh Out, on which Wallace indulges his love for free form. Despite the presence of such high-powered musicians, however, the Tennessee-born saxophonist is never overwhelmed. His rich tones and emotional style come through whether he's blowing such slow-tempo standards as the soul-fully rendered title cut or getting giddy with his own composition St. Expedito—"the saint you pray to when you want to hurry up and get your bread"—which conjures up images of a raucous Mardi Gras night on Bourbon Street. (Blue Note/Capitol)

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