On a personal level, this is about as good of a musical introduction to my new life in LA as I could ask for, as a familiar face from the Jazz Fest night show scene settles in for a weekly Wednesday beacon worth looking forward to – a hump day odyssey that’ll help break the monotony of even the most laborious, painstaking week. My excitement to see these shows is fueled in a big way by seeing Walter’s showing at this year’s annual Worship My Organ, who, alongside Skerik, Adam Deitch and Marco Benevento, put on an utterly incendiary performance that landed on a very short list of the best overall shows I caught during the entire Jazz Fest marathon (and, literally brought the roof down – pipes were bursting).
Starting this week, Greyboy Allstars keys extraordinaire Robert Walter and his B-3 will be hosting a Wednesday night residency at The Mint in LA every week in June and the host will be inviting a revolving door of very special guests to cut loose. Knowing the pedigree of most of the artists listed below and the sense of improvisational adventure each shares with Walter, one can make a fairly educated guess that set lists/playbooks will be few-and-far-between – these shows will fly OFF-THE-CUFF.
Each week will feature ridiculously talented, unique guests, producing something entirely different and surprising for those in the club each Wednesday. Walter will perform with different combos each night, including collaborations with Furthur / Benevento / Russo Duo drummer Joe Russo, the full Robert Walter’s 20th Congress, Robert Walter Trio with Reed Mathis (Tea Leaf Green) and Aaron Redfield (Greyboy Allstars) and another Trio with Stanton Moore of Galactic (who I’ve been lucky enough to see perform roughly 15-20 times this year in NOLA alone – given the man’s unparalleled work ethic, not as hard to do as one would think) and Jonathan Freilich. Whether you come out for one or all four, you’ll be in for a personalized treat every time you step into the swanky LA landmark.
Robert Walter and Joe Russo Duo
Robert Walter’s 20th Congress – Robert Walter, Cheme Gastelum (Sharon Jones), Chris Stillwell (Greyboy Allstars), Chuck Prada (Black Eyed Peas), and Simon Lott (George Porter Jr.).
Robert Walter Trio w/ Aaron Redfield (Greyboy Allstars), Reed Mathis (Jacob Fred Jazz)
Robert Walter Trio w/ Stanton Moore and Jonathan Freilich
About Robert Walter
Robert Walter is an accomplished keyboardist and composer. He plays Piano, Hammond B3 and Fender Rhodes. While touring extensively in the US and Europe, he has worked as a leader and sideman with many of the giants of American jazz and funk music. As a member of the classic band the Greyboy Allstars he has built a large and devoted following. He also works as a session musician, recording and collaborating with a diverse group of artists and on many film scores. Robert grew up in San Diego, California where he studied music from the age of 7 and began performing in bands as a teenager. He helped form the the Greyboy Allstars in 1993 with Karl Denson, Elgin Park, Chris Stillwell, Zak Najor and DJ Greyboy. Influenced by soul-jazz and funk records from the 1960s and 70s, the band juxtaposed jazz improvisation and dance music. They continue to record and perform to a committed fan base. The Greyboy Allstars also served as the band for Robert’s first solo record, Spirit of ’70 which also featured saxophonist and Miles Davis sideman Gary Bartz. In the late 1990’s Robert started his own group Robert Walter’s 20th Congress to showcase his composing. The band became known for it’s live performances and toured throughout the 90s and 2000’s. They recorded two albums, Money Shot and Giving Up the Ghost. Band members included Cochemea Gastelum (Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings), Stanton Moore (Galactic), Joe Russo (Furthur, Benevento-Russo Duo), George Sluppick (Mofro, Chris Robinson Brotherhood), Mike Fratantuno (Black-eyed Peas), Chuck Prada, and Will Bernard. During this period Robert also recorded There Goes the Neighborhood with jazz-funk pioneers Harvey Mason, Chuck Rainey, Phil Upchurch and Red Holloway.
Robert relocated to New Orleans in 2004 and became immersed the vibrant local music scene. He began collaborating with Johnny Vidacovich, Stanton Moore, James Singleton, George Porter Jr., and many more. While in New Orleans he recorded Super Heavy Organ and Cure All as well as albums with Stanton Moore (III, Emphasis on Parenthesis, Groove Alchemy) and Anders Osborne (American Patchwork). Robert currently lives in Los Angeles where he works on film music with composer Michael Andrews. They have done scores for Bridesmaids, Bad Teacher, Walk Hard: the Dewey Cox Story, Cyrus, Jeff Who lives at Home, She’s Out of Your League, 5 Year Engagement and the title song for the Fox comedy The New Girl (with Zooey Deschanel).