Robert Walter

There Goes the Neighborhood

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After several years with his band, 20th Congress, Robert Walter decided to take a short break and take a step back in time to pay tribute to the great soul-jazz music of the '60s, recording There Goes the Neighborhood with a cream-of-the-crop cast of funksters, including Harvey Mason, Red Holloway, Chuck Rainey, and Phil Upchurch. The title of the CD is a humorous take on the fact that Walter is a young player recording with time-honored veterans of their craft. Not to worry -- Walter locks in with this crew (on both organ and piano) like he was there all along, laying down grooves both new and old (such as a lickety-split version of Little Walter's "My Babe" and a greasy take on "Wade in the Water," a traditional gospel song popularized by Ramsey Lewis in the mid-'60s). The album was recorded in just over two days, with the players learning the material on the spot. It resulted in wonderfully spontaneous vibes and also showcases more of Walter's bluesy, improvisational side. The drums and percussion on this recording deserve special mention, particularly on the opening cut, "2% Body Fat," a Robert Walter staple. Mason and 20th Congress percussionist Chuck Prada are snapping tighter than a couple of undersized Tupperware lids. There Goes the Neighborhood is funky, soulful, and loaded with great old-school grooves. It's feel-good time.

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