Bennie Wallace started out on the clarinet but after a few years exchanged it for the heavier sound of the tenor sax. Another crucial choice that shaped Wallace into who he is today was his move from Tennessee to New York. In that city he gained stage experience in the bands of Monty Alexander and Sheila Jordan. In the seventies, he formed his own band in search of his personal sound. And he found it as witnessed by his albums for Blue Note in the eighties (like Twilight Time and Bordertown). The blues is never far away in his southern style of jazz. Not so strange considering that musicians like Stevie Ray Vaughan and Dr. John also played on these recordings. Wallace developed as a film soundtrack composer (White Men Can't Jump) and worked with orchestras. The jazz magazine DownBeat described him as 'a modernist who understands the past'. Wallace was influenced not only by Eric Dolphy, John Coltrane and Ben Webster, but also by the earlier sax legend Coleman Hawkins. In 2004 to commemorate Hawkins' 100th birthday Wallace presented the special project Disorder at the Border, based on Hawkins' music. In 2007 it was released on CD and the project can now be seen once again at the North Sea Jazz Festival, with a fantastic line-up: Ray Anderson on trombone, Jesse Davis on alto sax and Willie Jones III on drums.