Benny Barksdale, Jr. began his love affair with the saxophone in his native Baltimore, Maryland - studying music since he was a young lad, prompted by his drummer father. He advanced from his Douglas High School band to various groups in the area, eventually forming his own band, which was put on hold when he enlisted in the US Army. Upon his return home from a tour of duty in Vietnam, he was enlisted by Philly soul icons The Dells, which led to extensive studio work as his reputation as a gifted, reliable sax man grew.
Over the years he has performed with the late Grover Washington, Jr., Evelyn "Champagne" King, Gloria Gaynor, Phyllis Hyman, jazz organist Jimmy McGriff, The Crests, The Manhattans, Gary U.S. Bonds and others. His association with the renowned "Chops Horns" led him to tour with Alicia Keys, leading to his appearance on the 2002 Grammy Awards Show and his inclusion on Alicia Keys' hit album, Songs In A Minor - Collector's Edition, released in 2011.
Now a resident of New Jersey, he has frequently worked on producer Butch Ingram's sessions at Society Hill Records which led to the label issuing a handful of output from Barksdale himself.
Benny's release, the full-length "The Heart & Soul Of Benny Barksdale, Jr.," truly got to the heart of the matter and exposes all of his strengths throughout a dozen tracks that showed what a well-rounded, seasoned music veteran he truly is, and why he is considered one of the premier soloists in the soul jazz tradition.
One of the standout tracks from that album, "That’s The Way Of The World" - Benny's brilliant take on the Earth, Wind & Fire classic from 1975, is presented here featuring a fresh remix from Ingram and stellar background vocals from Fillies Finazz that elevates the track to a whole new level.