I heard this guy last night as I was getting to atlrug, on my ipod, and
was completely blown away. I looked at my ipod to find out who it was,
and it was Bennie Wallace. Ben Wallace? As in big ben? The former Detroit Pistons center? Obviously not. I hadn't heard of this guy! How can I not know an artist that's in my music collection, you might ask? Well let me just say that parts of my collection were "gifts" from friends.
Bennie Wallace had me really intrigued. He played Monk tones and played them with an avon-garde southern playful flavor. He's technique was impecable, he could say just about anything he wanted to say, and he brought something different to the table, he wasn't just another Coltrane or Sonny Rollins immitator.
I googled him this morning and it turns out he's white. I really expected him to be black. And it also turned out that he is still alive and well. His latest CD was produced on January of this year. And he has a jazzy website. Nice! Bennie Wallace: another path of musical exploration for me to go down. Yipee!!