Robert Walter calls his instrumental heavy organ music "soul-jazz," but that ignores the strong funk element ever-present on all of his albums. This one is no exception, as the opening track, "Adelita," charges out with Walter's Jimmy Smith/Jack McDuff-styled keyboards, driving saxophonist Tim Green into a roaring solo. For this recording, made live in a New Orleans studio with crisp sound, Walter chose top musicians to help the vibe, such as drummers Johnny Vidacovich and Galactic's Stanton Moore, along with bassist James Singleton. The music is baked in the New Orleans groove, with doses of the Meters, Galactic, and Dr. John mixed in. Walter pushes the sonic envelope by shifting into slightly experimental waters during parts of "(Smells Like) Dad's Drunk Again," but he never strays too far afield.
Robert Walter hails from the Greyboy academy of jazz. Spirit of '70 is a solid outing for him, but the funk/jazz legend Gary Bartz steals the show. On tracks like "Corey's Snail and Slug Death," Bartz plays with restraint, frothing with fresh ideas and confidently reaffirming his status as an underrated jazz giant. "Volcanic Acne" is the most cohesive track on the album and shows just how exciting Walter's playing can be when he's inspired. Walter's desire to re-create the "'70s spirit" unfortunately fails to reinvent it.
Dr. Wu' a.k.a. Jim Ashworth and Bryan Freeze have up until now, been deeply rooted in Texas Blues with the help of such players as the great Buddy Whittington, Mouse Mayes, Red Young, and other top musicians. Now with their 5th release they are broadening their horizons; branching out with new genres of compositions like "Buddy's Bolero" and "Baby I Love You" as well as new rockin' Texas Blues, and the return of the original vocalist Charlie Bassham …all of which make "Ridin' with Dr. Wu' Vol. 5 their best album to date!
An eclectic mix of American, African, and Caribbean music with strong rhythmic aspects. This CD has the ability to make the listener jump, dance, and listen, depending on what mood the individual is in while cruising the grooves. Leonard King was born in Detroit, Michigan where he has been able to absorb the multi-cultural musics of the entire metro area. He has performed with many artists such as Donald Byrd, Johnnie Taylor, Al Green, Herb Ellis, Barbara Dane, Eddie Kendricks, Pigmeat Markham, James Carter, and many others.