20th Congress in session | SummitDaily.com

20th Congress in session

BRECKENRIDGE -Robert Walter’s 20th Congress is a vinyl junkie’s dream come true. The band fuses classic soul jazz and funky dance music in a laid-back, groovy style.”It’s an instrumental band,” Walter said. “I’m influenced by a lot of late ’60s soul music and jazz.”As a member of the Greyboy Allstars, he began collecting soul jazz records of the late 1960s and early ’70s, when jazz artists tweaked their sound into a rhythm-and-blues beat to hit the top 40.”There’s something about that music that snapped together, that I thought was interesting,” he said. Since then, he has combined soulful jazz with his fascination with dance music.”The running theme is to combine some sort of improv, which is the jazz aspect of it, with something that’s physically appealing, which is dance music of all kinds,” he said. “(The) dance music can appeal to you physically, and it’s also jazz, which gives you something to think about while you listen to it.”Walter’s piano background allows him to write compelling music, and his drumming background adds a heavy rhythmic groove.The funkiest players from San Diego make up Walter’s band. Veteran Congress sax player and flutist Cochemea Gastelum pushes the band forward through new interests, such as an electronic sound. The lineup also features New York City drummer Joe Russo, who has played with the likes of Fat Mama, bassist Mike Fratantuno, from the hip-hop ensemble the Black-Eyed Peas and guitarist Will Bernard of Motherbug.Russo and Benevento, a hot organ and drum duo, will open for the Congress. (Yes, Russo is the same drummer who plays for Robert Walters -he constantly reinvents his sound.) Marco Benevento’s organ work fills the role of bassist, lead guitarist, rhythm guitarist, horn section and, of course, organs. The duo covers tunes as diverse as Led Zeppelin, Nirvana and Herbie Hancock interspersed with originals and long improvisations.The bands play Monday night at Sherpa & Yeti’s in Breckenridge.

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