Ready for Love is the latest release from saxophonist Walter Beasley. This 11-track beauty on Heads Up offers a little bit for most everyone.
“Free” is the first track and is the product of Deniece Williams and features the vocal of Tiffany Davis. It’s an easy moving track that moves along nicely and features some great sax work towards the end by Walter. “La Nina” flows nicely from beginning to end. It’s tight with Walter’s ever present alto. “Be Thankful” is a William DeVaughan cover that teaches us all to enjoy what we have. Rich vocals as well as moving sax make this one stand on its own. Walter’s horn has a “Grover-like” feel to it.
One of my favorites has to be the title track. There’s an infectious backbeat which Walter rides and a nice hook that you’ll be humming long after this one goes off. The keyboards of James Lloyd are a nice interlude at the midway point. “Rhea’s Song” begins dark and sensual. It continues to build while the melody takes off. Some of Walter’s best work is towards the end as his solos soar. The reggae beat keeps “She Moves Me” going. Its calypso style is a nice back-up for Beasley’s alto. “Miss You” is a love song featuring the vocals of Walter himself. It’s a keyboard-laden “hugger” that has very little sax but a lot of Beasley. There’s a lot going on in “Land of the Sun.” It has a moving backbeat, multi layers of sound effects, vocals and keyboards. The hook is there though more subdued. This is another one that I think you’ll really enjoy.
“Why Not You” stands on it’s own with a fine driving beat and contagious riff. The layers don’t take away from the sax handiwork as this one flies on through the night. The final track is a tribute to Willa Mae Brothers who gave Walter needed direction when he was a young student at Berklee. You sense his heartfelt reflection on a lady who meant a lot to him over the years.
Ready for Love has so much that Walter’s fans and students have come to enjoy over the years. This is another fine release from one of Americas top sax artists over the past decade. Be sure to pick up a copy today and see if you’re ready.
- Harvey Cline