A talented saxophonist and singer with a mellow, R&B-influenced style, Walter Beasley has led a successful contemporary and smooth jazz career. Born in El Centro, California in 1961, Beasley briefly played trumpet before switching to the saxophone around age nine. Inspired by Grover Washington, Jr., he began learning jazz and played in various bands throughout junior high and high school. After high school, he attended Berklee College, where he graduated at age 22 and became one of the school's teachers. In 1987, he made his solo debut with Walter Beasley on Verve. Two years later, he returned on Verve with Just Kickin' It. Both of these albums showcased Beasley's broad stylistic influences from jazz and funk to R&B, and found him both playing sax and singing.
During the '90s, he moved to Mercury for 1992's Intimacy and 1995's Private Time, after which he landed at Shanachie for an extended run, beginning with 1997's Tonight We Love and including 1998's For Your Pleasure and 2002's Rendezvous. These albums found him incorporating hip-hop influences and settling into a strong quiet storm vibe. Around this time, he also began recording for Heads Up and his own Affable Records, releasing 2005's For Her and 2007's Ready for Love. In 2010, he was back to Shanachie for Backatcha! Several live albums followed before the studio date I'm Back appeared in 2015 on Beasley's own Affable label. In 2017, he returned with the sensual Blackstreams. ~ Matt Collar