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Robert Walter: Spirit of 70

Spirit of ’70 (Greyboy Records, GBRCD004, 46:18), the debut disc from Greyboy Allstars’ keyboardist, Robert Walter adds another name to the growing crop of youngish, retro-splank keyboardists. Walter’s arsenal-organ, electric piano, clavinet and Mini-moog-mirrors those of others like Medeski Martin & Wood’s John Medeski (the pair also share a taste for Hendrix covers-his “Little Miss Lover” gets an interesting reconditioning on this disc). And some material-the creeping whole-toned workout “Impervious,” for example-has a heavily MM&W-ish flavor. The straightforward grooves and can’t-miss funk betray Walter’s pop roots, which run through folks like Dr. John, Sly and JB, into blues prime movers like Albert Ammons and Roosevelt Sykes. And sax powerhouse Gary Bartz is the disc’s secret weapon, adding pungent solos on cuts like “Corry’s Snail and Slug Death.”

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