BIO (scroll down)
Born in a military family, Earnest spent the first 15 years of his life traveling the country. The experience taught him an appreciation of different cultures and musical styles. While still a very young child Earnest's Air Force family was stationed in Hawaii. There he befriended his neighbors, The Wooten family, whose house was continuously filled with the sounds of live music. While Victor Wooten went on to become the best bass player in the world, it was Rudy on the saxophone that really inspired Earnest. At the age of 9 Earnest started playing the guitar, but a year later he picked up the saxophone and it has been his principle instrument ever since. Amazing his instructors, Earnest was deemed a natural. When he was only 14 years old the established musicians in Pensacola, Florida felt his playing was so essential they sneaked Earnest into night clubs to showcase his talents. Most nights Earnest was not allowed to leave the bandstand because he looked even younger then his 14 years! Earnest studied music education at Bethune-Cookman College quickly establishing himself as the best saxman on campus and around town. After college Earnest joined the Air Force where he performed with different groups in each town he was stationed. After the military Earnest toured and performed in most of the central to eastern portions of the country, including Miami, Daytona Beach, Charleston SC, Philadelphia, New Orleans, Atlanta, Tampa, Orlando, and Denver. In the late 90's Earnest moved to Philadelphia and became a member of the prestigious smooth jazz band "Blind Date". Earnest produced and financed his first album "Raindrops In The Sun" in 1999 to gain the attention of jazz record labels. Selling his CD's at performances he has managed to sell over 2000 copies. On February 28, 2006 Earnest Released Variations On A Groove. The entire album was mixed and mastered by the one and only Tracy "Rum" Nelson of Philadelphia. "I first played with Tracy at the prestigious club 'A Brave New World' in Philly and we have been friends ever since," Earnest recalls, "When I told Tracy that I was working on a new project he was adamant about being heavily involved". Not completely satisfied with adding his production skills to the project, Tracy added his writing knowledge on the second track, "Sweetest Things". His unmistakable expertise on the drums can be heard holding down the rhythm on this beautifully arranged piece. On the third track, "P-Cola Bounce", Earnest demonstrates his outstanding writing skills in a tribute to his home town of Pensacola, Florida. "Growing up in Pensacola many of us affectionately nicknamed the city 'P-Cola'", Earnest states, "I do my best to perform there when ever I can get a chance. While there in 2005 the DJ of the club struck up a Marcus Miller song during our break called 'Bruce Lee'. Man, you have never seen a group of people get into a song they way they grooved to this one. This was uniquely Pensacola, people there don't care what's on the radio or what's 'popular'. They like what they like. When I heard the kickin Gerald Albright alto solo on this song, 'P-Cola Bounce' flowed into fruition."
The fourth track is the first of two written by renowned composer Richard "Tuck" Tucker of Rich Boy Productions (tm). Tuck is a writer and guitar player for Kindred The Family Soul and has a host of production credits to his name. "I also first met Tuck at 'A Brave New World' and went on to play with him at some venues in New York." says Earnest, "In September 2005 Tuck, along with good friends of mine Timmy Hudson (drums) and Stacey McGee (bass) came down to Miami on tour with Kindred The Family Soul. We cruised South Beach and had a great time. I joked with Tuck, 'if you don't write me a song for my next CD I am going to not take you back to the hotel but drop you off in the middle of Miami! Apparently this worked because Tuck wrote not one but two songs for the project!" Earnest laughs. That creamy smooth guitar solo heard in the middle of "Mysterious Kiss" showcases one of the many talents of Richard Tucker.
To read more insights into the making of "Variations On A Groove" visit Earnest at his website. "One thing I love about being independent is that I am free to talk to everyone that drops me a line," says Earnest, "I carry my laptop on the road with me and delight in communicating with everyone". There is no doubt you will want to communicate with Earnest and everyone else you know once you buy this smokin album. It's sure to hold a spot in your CD player for months and possibly years to come.
Because he has performed on stage and as a session player for 25 years, his recorded sound is incredible, but you have not heard Earnest Walker, Jr. until you have seen his live performance.
Earnest Walker Jr. is a 'performing mans' saxophonist. His is a physical style of hip gyrations; saxophone pumping and swinging that gets every crowd into an uproar. Rarely has there been a saxman that combines a great sounding horn with such a brilliant show. A must see.