There's an unmistakable sense of exuberant discovery when Robert Walter gets behind a keyboard. For all the callus raising road work and long hours sweating over musical notation - dude is a serious freakin' composer, creating real vehicles that elevate the notion of 'jam' about 10 notches above the norm - Walter still seems awestruck by each visit to a stage, each number brought into being with a who's who of New Orleans and jam world regulars. The unfolding moment glistens in his approach, and that sense of wonder and possibility infuses everything he touches.
As a member of the Greyboy Allstars, leading his own units like the 20th Congress or engaged in fierce, tasty interplay in the Stanton Moore Trio (see the boffo new Groove Alchemy for bubbling over examples), Walter moves in a lithe, engaging way, prodding his compatriots expertly and more than holding his own no matter who's onstage with him. One gets the sense that pianos and Hammonds let loose a happy sigh when they see him coming. (Dennis Cook)
Here's what Walter had to say to our inquiries.
1. Great music rarely happens without
2. The first album I bought was
The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
4. When I was a kid I wanted to grow up to be
5. My favorite sort of gig is
Small clubs like the Maple Leaf Bar in New Orleans on an off night
6. One thing I wish people knew about me is
I'm a good cook
7. I love the sound of
My son learning piano
8. One day I hope to make an album as fantastic as
Herbie Hancock's Thrust
9. The best meal I ever had on tour was at
Fried chicken from Jacque Imo's in New Orleans
10. I always find the coolest audiences in
New Orleans, San Francisco, Chicago
11. The worst habit I've picked up being on the road all the time is
12. The Beatles or the Stones? Por que?
I think the Stones are cooler, but I'd usually rather listen to The Beatles.
13. The craziest thing I ever saw was
Russell Batiste sitting in on a left-handed drum set and playing as great as always.