John Tesh / The John Tesh Project

Sax on the Beach

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Despite being an Emmy-winning composer with numerous top-selling albums to his credit, some folks still fail to take John Tesh seriously as anything more than the host of Entertainment Tonight. Those who scoff, however, should realize that aside from writing great sports music, the man knows how to put together some phenomenal talent, who jam heartily on Sax on the Beach despite the romantic album cover. The familiar song titles -- "The Way It Is," "Piano in the Dark," "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" -- may bring out the Muzak Patrol, but this is a far more aggressive turn than the simplistic approach of its predecessor, Sax by the Fire. Underneath the commercial sheen is some fiery blowing by the starry likes of Gerald Albright, Boney James, Eric Marienthal, Michael Paulo, and Marc Russo. If that's not enough, how about Charlie Bisharat's violin, David Pack's vocals, and Mike Landau's raging electric guitar, plus horns and a string quartet? Cynics always look at cover tunes like they're a cop-out, an easy way to get airplay. But when they're done just right, the results can be fairly joyous. Four Weddings and a Saxophone, anyone?

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