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Cure All by Robert Walter

Keyboardist Robert Walter really does know how to capture one’s attention. Known for his fat and heavy Hammond B-3 sound, the artist struts pizzazz and funk, and yet his material here on Cure All and the direction that the material follows also often gives some serious acknowledgement to some of the finest in traditional jazz style. In fact, there’s really a great collage of styles here.

This music is full of rich, beautifully blended and decently funky melodies, played with the passion you know Walter feels as he travels across the ivories, be it in a Jimmy Smith manner or something more subtle like a smooth touch of elegant piano. While many of the cuts here (particularly the early ones) are soaked in funk, Walter’s touch with the blues is also quite impressive, as is shown in "Measure Up," and I can’t omit his handling of the honky tonkish up-tempo number, "Scores of Spores," which is about as contagious a "happy dance" piece as you care to hear. Those familiar with Ozzie Ahlers will hear a lot of his style here, as well as traces of Walters’s early rock influences. If that’s not diverse enough, there are also very stylish straight-up jazz offerings like "Parts & Holes" and "Hillary Street."

The artist says that he wrote the music here with a couple of New Orleans musicians in mind, drummer Johnny Vidacovich and bassist James Singleton, both of whom are fixtures in New Orleans music and who also join him here. The tunes do reflect that N’Orleans flavor. "Rivers of Babylon" and "Maple Plank" immediately come to mind.

The funk element tapers off after track 8, but the music still goes to some interesting places certainly deserving of a listen. Walter’s obvious decision to use the Hammond, piano, and keyboards in the diverse fashion demonstrated on Cure All was a wise one that should truly impress listeners of different tastes in one way or another.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Robert Walter
  • CD Title: Cure All
  • Genre: Various Jazz Styles
  • Year Released: 2008
  • Record Label: Palmetto Records
  • Tracks: Snakes and Spiders, Money Changes, Cure All, Coupe, Scores of Spores, Rivers of Babylon, Parts and Holes, Box of Glass, Maple Plank, Measure Up, Hillary Street, Bulldog Run, T
  • Musicians: Robert Walter (organ, piano, keyboards), James Singleton (bass), Johnny Vidacovich (drums)
  • Rating: Three Stars
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