Kung Fu and Robert Walter’s 20th Congress @ The Aggie & Cervantes – January 24 and 25
Photos and Words: Mike Sherry
Robert Walter’s 20th Congress resumed session this past weekend on Colorado’s front range, joined by Kung Fu (having skied down from dates in Aspen, Breckenridge and Boulder), in a double-showcase of talents both sublime and ridiculous. On Thursday night The Aggie in Fort Collins got an extra treat on the bill as bassist Garrett Sayers of The Motet led his trio through a spunky, jazzy opening set. Friday’s show featured Jet Edison kicking off an evening that would stretch to nearly 3AM.
[All Photos by Mike Sherry]
Never a band in need of a warm-up number, Kung Fu took the stage and the funk by the horns with the greasy Do The Right Thing. Keeping a steady increase on the heat, the sultry vibe of Snaggle boiled to a kettle of frenetic notes blasted from all directions in a jumping Scapegoat Blues. As the band grooved through (let’s just get “Zappa-esque” out of the way) Letters From Bobby Portugal, guitarist Tim Palmieri showed why his style is so difficult to pin down yet so easy to love: tasteful, sustained phrasings washing into bright flourishes and not simply climaxing at the highest fret but then a peaceful return to terra firma.
But nobody was grounded for long. Robert Walter presented his newly sworn-in 20th Congress: incumbent Cochemea Gastelum on sax, Simon Lott on drums and Greyboy Allstars vet Chris Stillwell holding down the bottom end. The quartet eased into the jazzy Sweetie Pie with nonchalance and poise, how else to follow scorching heat but with the epitome of cool? But things only picked up as Robert introduced Dog Party (“…what your dogs do when you’re not at home.”) and the brand-new Hunk, a choice cut of Nawlins funk.