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December 2006

Walter Beasley
Live
Shanachie

Boston resident and Berklee professor Walter Beasley undoubtedly felt comfortable performing live at this 1998 gig at Sculler’s with Tyrone Chase on guitar, Andrew Sherman on keyboards, Baron Browne on bass and Mark Simmons on drums. His fine studios CDs are all about crisp production and perfect sound, so it’s no surprise that Live is so satisfying. The music is as raw as you will ever hear Beasley on record, as live drumming and his extended sax solos are rare on record.

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Michael Manson

The CD isn’t the first time that Beasley’s live performances have been available. The saxophonist has also independently released a DVD, recorded at the same Boston venue, called Live at Sculler’s, and one called Live & More. Live is released on Beasley’s former record label—he’s now signed to Heads Up—as it wraps up its commitment to Beasley with this and a greatest-hits package.

Beasley originals such as “On the Black Side,” “Freaknic,” “What’s My Name” and “I Feel You” are energetic romps, while on the oft-covered “People Make the World Go Round” he shows off his robust and soulful vocals. You may not have known that Beasley has vocal chops, but his students at Berklee surely do as he also gives vocal instruction and has released a DVD of vocal instruction.

Originally published in December 2006
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