Walter Beasley

Walter Beasley

by Walter Beasley
     
 

Walter Beasley's self-titled 1987 debut for Polydor Records offered this new talent on the smooth jazz block as a triple threat: Beasley showed himself not only to be a talented saxophonist, but a fine songwriter and vocalist as well. Though he was deeply influenced by the late Grover Washington, Jr., Beasley took thatSee more details below

Overview

Walter Beasley's self-titled 1987 debut for Polydor Records offered this new talent on the smooth jazz block as a triple threat: Beasley showed himself not only to be a talented saxophonist, but a fine songwriter and vocalist as well. Though he was deeply influenced by the late Grover Washington, Jr., Beasley took that inspiration far and wide. One need go no further than the album's opening cut, "I'm So Happy." Beasley's soulful vocals and alto saxophone are right up in front of a female backing chorus, a stylist drum loop, crisp synths, and a catchy guitar hook worthy of Eric Gale or Cornell Dupree (though it's played by Freddie Fox). Add to this some Chic-like handclaps and dreamy keyboards, and nursery rhyme refrains with saxophone swirling in the bridge, and you have a bona fide crossover hit. It's a hell of an introduction for Beasley as a modern soul vocalist and songwriter, and he wrote or co-wrote all but two of the album's nine cuts. Preston Glass and Kenny G wrote the following cut, "On the Edge," but Beasley's technical gift on the soprano sax is what's on display here. Kenny G may have written it, but his own chops don't hold a candle to the killer soul, in the pocket rhythmic sensibility, and overall arrangement with the loops and spiraling funky keyboards in this version. Other standouts on the set include the romantic gospel/soul ballad that is "Call Me," the funky "Back in Love Again," and the tough swagger and strut of "Nothin' But a Thang," that was a club favorite and a subsequent single. While it's true that Lionel Job's production sounds dated in the 21st century, most everything that came out of the smooth jazz genre from that period does: the packed compression on the keyboards and drum programming are a dead giveaway to the era, as are the stacked vocals. That said, this is one of the shining lights of the entire period, and it's easy to see why this music became a juggernaut commercially. Beasley stands out as a giant of the genre because he set his own watermark so high. The emotion on this set is clear, and the grooves are timeless. This is a very impressive debut by a player who arrived on the scene fully developed.

Read More

Product Details

Release Date:
07/01/2008
Label:
Verve
UPC:
0602517743670
catalogNumber:
001144902

Tracks

Read More

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Walter Beasley   Primary Artist,Flute,Keyboards,Saxophone,Alto Saxophone,Soprano Saxophone,Vocals,Background Vocals
Onaje Allan Gumbs   Synthesizer Strings
Audrey Wheeler   Background Vocals
Thor Baldursson   Synthesizer,Keyboards
Freddie Fox   Bass,Guitar
Bill Hagans   Guitar,Keyboards
Lionel Job   Percussion
Billy Kilson   Drums
Cindy Mizelle   Background Vocals
Leo Okeke   Bass,Bass Guitar

Technical Credits

Walter Beasley   Producer
Thor Baldursson   drum programming
Ray Bardani   Engineer
Bill Hagans   drum programming
Ted Jensen   Mastering
Lionel Job   Producer,drum programming
Acar S. Key   Engineer
Kevin Reeves   Mastering
Peter Robbins   Engineer
Bob Rosa   Engineer
Eugene Jackson   drum programming
Michael Bays   Art Direction
Hollis King   Art Direction
Pete Robbins   Engineer

Read More

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >