Johnny Beecher

On the Scene

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First order of business: there is no "Johnny Beecher." On the Scene is in fact the handiwork of Plas Johnson, working under a pseudonym to avoid outstanding contractual obligations with Capitol Records. Regardless of the name above the title, this is a wonderfully evocative set of midnight-blue instrumentals shrouded in cigarette smoke and illuminated by the light of flickering neon sign. Backed by uncredited vibes and organ, Johnson/Beecher's tenor sax articulates an uncommonly acute sense of melancholy and isolation, rendering track titles like "Sorrows" and "She's Gone Away" all but superfluous.