Saxophonist Walter Beasley is “back at us” with his latest release entitled Backatcha!
The ten songs here are a good mix of some originals as well as some favorite classics. He moves from soprano to alto through the mix as well as some nice vocals.
Those vocals are on full display as he kicks the album off with Bill Withers timeless “Lovely Day.” Walter always sounds great when he lets loose singing, and does a nice job here as well. “Expressway” picks up the pace a little as we all would on our morning commute. The background keeps this one going, and is a nice base to add Beasley’s sax to. “Ellie’s Theme” is more methodical in its approach and shows off a bit more of Walter’s sax and is a nice lead in to the classic hit, “Ooh Child.” I like how this one comes across as he plays the chorus with a lot of feeling.
The title track has more of a retro feel to it. “Baby That’s Backatcha” features Beasley on soprano as he demonstrates some of his best work on the album. “Find Your Love” keeps a funkier beat behind it along with some good work by Walter. The added vocals here are a nice touch as well. One of my favorites has to be “The Call.” It’s a happy tune with a little bit of a calypso beat added in for fun. The melody here goes in some really good areas, and keeps the listener entertained throughout. Add in some nice keyboard work from Phil Davis, and you have a really good one here. I really enjoyed what he does with his soprano on “Simply Put.” It is another tune that comes across as being fairly simple until you listen to the intensity of the undertones and how well it is put together. He finishes with a little more up tempo “When You Least Expect It.” The back beat lays down a good base for Walter’s playing as it almost comes across as a hauntingly simple ending.
I know Walter’s fans are happy to have a new release that follows up his live disc. There’s a lot here to make them happy. Old favorites along with the new material make this a fun one to be come “atcha!”