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Robert Walter’s 20th Congress: Money Shot

Between his debut release, Spirit of 70, and the new Money Shot, keyboardist Robert Walter is developing a catalog as impressive as that of the group he first gained notice in, the Greyboy Allstars. Surrounded by a team of wicked beat junkies in the 20th Congress (Galactic skinsman Stanton Moore, horn player Chochemea Gastelum, guitarist Elgin Park, bassist David Cafrano, percussionist Chuck Prada), Walter lays back and lets the vibes flow through, laying out on tunes that are less concerned with dazzling you than with tickling your backbone. Despite the inevitable comparisons to Medeski, Martin and Wood, Walter’s vibe runs closer to classic ’70s rare grooves (the kind you would see on blaxploitation flicks) than to MMW’s often heady leanings. Tunes like the neck-breaking “Rack and Pinion” and the hard-bop-piano-inflected “Instant Lawn” (with its “Grazing in the Grass” piano motif), are the work of a band that spends a lot of time inside each other’s heads.

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