Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Robert Walter: Cure All

JazzTimes may earn a small commission if you buy something using one of the retail links in our articles. JazzTimes does not accept money for any editorial recommendations. Read more about our policy here. Thanks for supporting JazzTimes.

Hammond-organ maven and jam-band icon Robert Walter joins the longstanding New Orleans rhythm tandem of upright bassist Jim Singleton and drummer Johnny Vidacovich-charter members of Astral Project and members of Walter’s 20th Congress-for a slamming, groove-heavy throwdown that pays tribute to the influences of the Meters, Professor Longhair, Thelonious Monk and Jimmy Smith as it celebrates the spirit of dance. From the opening funk vamp on “Snakes and Spiders,” with Walter doubling on B3 and clavinet, to the quirky “Money Changes,” which changes rapidly from shuffle to mambo to bop, to the traditional New Orleans parade beat number “Parts and Holes,” these three kindred spirits show uncanny flexibility and an ability to groove with hand-in-glove tightness.

On the title track, a funky B3 showcase for Walter that sounds reminiscent of an irreverent Medeski, Martin & Wood jam, Singleton stomps on a distortion pedal to make his upright bass growl with nasty intentions. And on the catchy “Coupe,” Vidacovich provides the second-line flavoring beneath Walter’s jaunty ‘Fess-style piano tinkling. “Scores of Spores” is another revved up jam-band number with Walter doubling on B3 and distortion-laced clavinet to affect a raw garage-band appeal, while “Rivers of Babylon” is a buoyant, hip Fender Rhodes vehicle reminiscent of mid-’70s Herbie Hancock (think Thrust) that hangs on the driving momentum of Singleton’s “Footprints”-like bassline and Vidacovich’s swinging, slyly interactive drumming.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.