With this CD, saxophonist Walter Beasley marks his debut with the Heads Up recording label. On For Her, Beasley asks us to join him on a journey through a relationship, from the beginning when it's fresh and new (“She's All That”) through the break-up (“Things Change”) and towards the possibility of something new (“Playtime”).
The opening tune, “She's All That,” is an up-tempo song with a slight disco/club beat. Chuck Loeb produced this one and plays on it as well giving it his signature Chuck Loeb sound. The title song, “For Her,” finds Walter Beasley on soprano sax and vocals. This song is a mid-tempo blend of smooth jazz instrumentals and R&B vocals. If you follow the theme of this album, this could be where the man in this relationship makes his intentions known.
Do you remember back in the day when everyone would go to the club come Friday and Saturday nights? Pieces of a Dream (POAD) keyboardist James Lloyd joins Beasley on this track and several others as well. “Coolness” is heavy on drum programming. It's reminiscent of those nights spent dancing, posturing, and posing at the club. Perhaps that's what's going on at this stage of the relationship.
Several tunes on this CD could play easily on commercial radio, including “Good Morning,” “What Ya Feelin'?,” and “Remember When.” “What Ya Feelin'?” is the second James Lloyd produced tune on this CD. It's a lively and energetic tune with Walter soaring on the alto sax. As the song progresses, he steadily turns it up. Even if it's not, this should be the first single and would be a good choice to include in the live show set list. After several listens, this song has become one of the highlights on this album.
As the name implies, “Don't Say Goodnight” is a romantic song. This is the second vocal tune on this album. The third vocal tune is “Things Change,” with Beasley delivering an R&B performance, a la' Brian McKnight.
“Grace” is the other standout song on this album. This soprano sax ballad is the third James Lloyd contribution. If you continue to follow the theme of this release, this could be the easy, comfortable times during a relationship, like sharing the Sunday paper over breakfast in bed.
This CD ends with an upbeat tune, rightfully named “ Playtime.” According to the recurring theme of this CD the relationship has ended, but “Playtime” represents the hope of new possibilities on the horizon. This is another enjoyable song with Beasley cutting loose on the alto sax.
For Her is a CD that covers a lot of emotional turf and will accommodate many feelings. Walter Beasley easily goes back and forth between moods taking the listener on a journey through the romantic, the playful, and the serious aspects of relationships. We've all been on the same ride. Thankfully, he chose to set his to music so we could experience it with him.
- Mary Bentley