No Rough Edges

Sometimes you just need to groove. Walter Beasley fits the bill with his fifth album, Won't You Let Me Love You, a collection of soulful, romantic, urban, in-the-pocket grooves that is as smooth as silk.

As with most smooth-jazz albums being released today, Beasley includes a selection of covers to help grab listeners. Vinny Barrett and Bobby Eli's "Sideshow" (RealAudio excerpt) gets top-shelf treatment, with Beasley's soprano sax and unobtrusive singing gliding over the irresistible melody. Beasley also includes versions of R&B singer Joe's recent hit, "I Wanna Know" (RealAudio excerpt) and Stevie Wonder's "Visions," on which he shows off his vocal strengths. Ditto on the title track (written by Weldon Irvine and Bernard Wright), one of the first songs Beasley ever performed.

Other highlights are the funky "Babygirl" (RealAudio excerpt), with its pounding bassline setting the tone; "Theresa," which references Bob James' classic theme from the TV sitcom "Taxi"; the radio hit "Tantam"; and "Comin' at Cha," co-written by Kavin Hoo, a student in the smooth-jazz course Beasley teaches at Berklee College of Music.