A nice review for my album Backatcha! by Alonda Washburn on jazzreview.com
Thursday, January 5, 2012
"This is Walter Beasley's fifteenth album which was released on October twenty-six of 2010. This album was produced by Chris "Big Dog" Davis and Phil Davis. Walter Beasley is a best-selling contemporary jazz artist of today.
He is a recording artist, performer, full professor at Berklee College of Music, performance consultant, and music entrepreneur (founder and CEO of Affable Publishing and Affable Records) who hit number one on the contemporary jazz charts. He plays the soprano/alto saxophone as well as sings. His performance genres includes R&B instrumental, vocal jazz, and contemporary jazz. His musical influences are: Grover Washington, Jr., Roberta Flack, Donny Hathaway, Cannonball Adderley, Johnny Hodges, Sonny Stitt, Dexter Gordon, Peabo Bryson, David Sanborn, and Michael Ruff. He has sold over 800,000 albums during his career. As mentioned in previous reviews/bios, he is one of the few jazz musicians who plays as well as sings and hit top ten records numerous times.
This album brings together many facets of Walter's wide-ranging artistry--rock solid grooves,inventive soloing, an absolutely exquisite tone, and uncanny synthesis of jazz and R&B and, on one track--Bill Withers' "Lovely Day"-- an effortlessly seductive vocal. "Lovely Day", is the start of this marvelous combination of tracks in which "the first four shows Walter's versatility." Of those tracks are "Expressway", the second track, which was written by producer Chris Davis. Then follows a crafty interpretation of Isaac Hayes' "Ellie's Theme". The fourth track then is perfectly weaved into the mix, a smooth version of The Five Stairsteps' "OohChild". This album reflects Walter's great taste and heart in jazz music which surrounds music such as "straight-ahead jazz and fusion to R&B and hip-hop". As mentioned in previous reviews/bios, "Unlike many jazz musicians, Beasley does not disdain any styles but utilizes any number of genres as a source of inspiration. For instance, he takes rap artist Drake's recent hit "Find Your love" and turns it into a moody atmospheric mid-tempo piece. On the other hand, for sheer beauty and lyricism, it would be hard to top Walter's sensitive playing on his original composition "simply Put".
As also mentioned, "With Backatcha! Walter has matched his previous peaks and delivered what in this era of single-track downloads is a rarity--a true album experience. No doubt "Lovely Day" the first single from Backatcha! will join Walter's list of hits, but years hence, when the chart numbers are forgotten, Backatcha! will stand as one the the finest artistic statements to hit the contemporary jazz scene in many years".