SAX BY THE FIRE.
If back when TNUC got started someone told me that one day I’d be discussing John Tesh in one of these weekly installments, I’d probably tell that person to go strap on some roller blades, a fedora hat, then proceed to launch off the nearest plateau. All do respect to the multi-talented John Tesh, but his music and the TNUC bible are two separate worlds….except when it comes to the mighty saxophone. When blistering slices of breathtaking saxophone reverberate through the air, humanity becomes one.
Take for example The John Tesh Project’s 1994 album “Saxophone by the Fire”, which I recently scored on cassette at Amoeba Records in LA for a buck. Here we have 12 saxophone covers of popular songs done by John and various saxophonists. The album is part 1 of a triple-sax assault which also features the albums “Sax on the Beach” (1995) and “Sax All Night” (1997).
Question. When was the last time you heard Don Henley’s ‘End of the Innocence’? Was it during one of your old man’s long car rides into the country? Waiting in line at the pharmacy? Or maybe when flying a kite and playing frisbee with your family at the park after your ninth release from rehab? Regardless of how familiar you are with the song, imagine someone with a set of balls big enough to fit in a dump-truck replacing Don Henley’s vocals with the elephant-roaring sounds of the saxophone. That’s right, this cover of ‘End of the Innocence’ doesn’t just “feature” the saxophone as a background instrument. It completely replaces the vocals WITH SAXOPHONE. Ease back in your hammock and take a listen…
Other irresistible slices of unprotected sax…
Have a seat, Michael McDonald.
Step aside, Bruce Hornsby.
This last video is MANDATORY VIEWING. Here we have Tesh playing his signature piano at Red Rocks amphitheater alongside saxophonist Everette Harp, a guy who lifts this instrument up to new, face-ripping levels. Harp is wearing a sparkly vest and dangly earring. Tesh looks like a cross between the McDonald’s character Grimace and Max Headroom. Whatever the case, it works. The only thing that could possibly top this would be a surprise appearance by Tim Cappello, smothered in oil and chains, doing a sax-off with Harp.
If you’re really into this John Tesh saxophone experience and happen to be with a woman, TNUC strongly recommends playing these albums in front of a roaring fire, shirt off, full chest of hair. No wimps. No softies.