Zachary Walter is a prolific multi-talented artist. Hailing from New Mexico, Walter has been incredibly active in the New York scene since moving to the big city some eight years ago. He has recorded and performed with a number of groups (Mainland, Oh My Blackbird, Columbus, Waldo) on a variety of instruments. He is also one of the founding members of Mochi House, and played a major role in the production of Worried Man, the inaugural album of Mochi House band Columbus. In addition to his career as a musician, he recently received his Masters of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary at Columbia University.
Walter recently released Some Cocktail Suggestions,his third solo album, and his first production with Mochi House. As on his previous releases (Colors and A Series of Portraits), Cocktail Suggestions showcases Walter’s multi-instrumental talents and draws from a variety of influences. Walter’s bass, percussion, saxophone, clarinet, and flute performances on this album draw from avant-garde jazz, gospel, and classical music to name just a few traditions.
Cocktail Suggestions paints an abstract landscape of hazy forms, flowing percussion, and jagged melodies, while maintaining a fluid lyricism that reflects the modal work of Miles Davis. Walter's Dolphy-esque saxophone and clarinet licks feature prominently on all four tracks, and weave a sonic narrative through a pulsing rhythmic architecture. The album’s spiritual motive is brought to the fore in the hymns and mantras of "Tom Collins" and "Martini", written by Walter and sung by Nora Davis, Suzy Kohane, and Columbus songwriter Ross Kanter. Kanter also plays harmonium on the album’s closing song “Grasshopper”, an 18-minute, largely improvisational romp that finds Walter and his compatriots in joyous communal abandon. Other Collaborators on the album include Columbus members David Rowe (drums on “Grasshopper” and “Manhattan”), and Kevin Schwartzbach (electric guitar on “Grasshopper”), as well as Mr. Nathan (acoustic guitar on “Grasshopper”).