Robert Walter (musician)

Robert Walter (musician)

Infobox Musical artist


Img_size = 150
Name = Robert Walter
Background = non_vocal_instrumentalist
Origin = New Orleans, San Diego
Birth_name =
Alias =
Genre = Jazz, Funk, Soul Jazz
Instrument = Hammond B3 organ, piano, keyboards
Years_active = 1990's–present
Current_members =
Label = Fog City Records
Associated_acts = Robert Walter's 20th Congress, The Greyboy Allstars, VW Duo, Creedle
URL = [http://www.fogworld.com/robert Fog City Records presents: Robert Walter]
Past_members =
Biography =

Robert Walter is a keyboard player specializing in instrumental soul jazz on the Hammond B3 organ. He is a founding memberof The Greyboy Allstars, and has since led his own band Robert Walter's 20th Congress.

Biography

Robert Walter has built a reputation as one of America's heaviest jazz-funk keyboardists. As a founding member of The Greyboy Allstars, he toured throughout North America and Europe with the group for five years. Along the way, he contributed to the soundtrack of the major motion picture "Zero Effect" and has performed and recorded with such jazz and funk heavyweights as Fred Wesley, Gary Bartz, Melvin Sparks, Andy Bey, Reuben Wilson, Harvey Mason, Red Holloway, Chuck Rainey, Phil Upchurch, Mike Clark, Johnny Vidacovich and Steve Kimock.

At the age of 30, Robert left the Greyboy Allstars and formed a new band, Robert Walter's 20th Congress. The group featured Robert on electric piano and Hammond B3 organ, Cochemea "Cheme" Gastelum on alto sax, electric sax and flute, Chris Stillwell on bass and Stanton Moore on drums. The 20th Congress released their debut full-length recording "Money Shot" on San Francisco's Fog City Records in 2000. [liner notes]

Walter's sound is often labeled "groove jazz", although on a song by song basis the band's center of gravity may be more precisely called funk, soul jazz, or boogaloo. All of that genre cross-pollination (and some heavy experimentation with echo and effects) might make "fusion" a better label for the band, if it weren't for the unfortunate "studio nerd" image that the term is now associated with. While Robert's own songwriting may have a harmonic complexity that is found more often in mid-70s fusion than in most of today's "funk bands", Walter cultivates a vibe from an earlier, sweatier jazz tradition. As he puts it, "the problem I have with some of the hardcore jazzbos is that they seem sort of cookie-cutter in their attitude towards other forms of music and composition. I like to play around with ideas, and get into improvisation and all that, but it's got to be something that makes people move. And that's really where jazz started out. People forget that."

Growing up, Walter attended the School of Creative and Performing Arts in San Diego, studying classical harmony and piano. He played in many blues and rock bands and was a founding member of the San Diego funk band Daddy Long Leggs. In addition to his jazz and funk pursuits, Walter regularly performs on rock records, including three albums by avant punk group Creedle and an upcoming A&M records release by folk pop songwriter Gary Jules. He has also recorded a semi-tongue-in-cheek Christmas record, "In A Holiday Groove" for Fog City Records.

Walter moved from his native San Diego to New Orleans in 2003, and subsequently reunited with producer Dan Prothero to record "Super Heavy Organ" with local legends Johnny Vidacovich, James Singleton, Tim Green, and Stanton Moore.

Walter can be seen in the 2007 Columbia Pictures release "Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story", for which he helped write one of the soundtrack's more audacious numbers, "(Mama) You Got To Love Your Negro Man". In a 'blink-and-you'll-miss-it' uncredited cameo, he briefly appears as the keyboard player in the house band for Dewey's 70's variety show, "The Dewey Cox Show".

Discography (as leader)

*"Spirit Of '70" - Greyboy Records, 1996 [with Gary Bartz]
*"Health And Fitness" - 1999 [with the 20th Congress]
*"Money Shot" - Fog City Records, 2000 [with the 20th Congress]
*"There Goes The Neighborhood" - Premonition (Emd), 2001 [Solo]
*"Giving Up The Ghost" - Magna Carta Records, 2003 [with the 20th Congress]
*"Super Heavy Organ" - Magna Carta Records, 2005 [with Super Heavy Organ]
*"Cure All" - Palmetto, June 2008

Discography (as a sideman)

*"The Clinton Administration" - Magna Carta Records, 2004 with The Clinton Administration
*"III" - Telarc, 2006 with Stanton Moore
*"Emphasis! (On Parenthesis)" - Telarc, 2008 with Stanton Moore

Discography (with the GreyBoy Allstars)

*"West Coast Boogaloo with Fred Wesley" - Greyboy Records, 1995
*"A Town Called Earth" - Greyboy Records, 1997
*"GBA Live" - Relaxed Records/Ada Records, 1999
*"What Happened to Television?", 2007

Discography (with Creedle)

*"Half Man Half Pie" - Cargo Music/Headhunter Records, 1992
*"Silent Weapons for Quiet Wars" - Cargo Music/Headhunter Records, 1994
*"When the Wind Blows" - Cargo Music/Headhunter Records, 1996

References

External links

* [http://www.20thcongress.com/ Official Site]
* [http://www.fogworld.com/robert Fog City Records presents: Robert Walter]
* [http://allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:croibk59jakq Allmusic biography]
* [http://www.archive.org/details/RobertWalters20thCongress Robert Walter's 20th Congress collection] at the Internet Archive's live music archive


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