Charlie Hunter: Charlie Hunter

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
Confessions of a self-proclaimed jazz snob. I admit it. After listening to jazz for these many years, I’ve absorbed New Orleans/swing/ bop/ post-bop/hard bop, and free-jazz. I, like many of you, have little patience for the thin veil of pop music. Give me Anthony Braxton’s equations or give me death.

After listening to Charlie Hunter’s latest disc, his sixth for Blue Note, I am reminded of whence I came. Like all baby-boomers, I was a rock-n-roller before I was this hip. Three chords and an attitude were all I needed for my favorite summer song.

The first go-round with Hunter’s latest, I was not impressed with his stripped-down lineup and unadorned music. The majority of the tunes comprise Hunter and percussionist Leon Parker or Hunter and multiple percussionists. Since Hunter’s 8-string guitar handles the bass line (sometimes sounding organ-like) I consider the music to be a trio sound. But these catchy tunes didn’t reveal themselves to me until I cranked up the volume. That’s much better; Hunter’s creation is a wall-of-percussion sound. The kind of summer sound you can shake your behind to. What a clever concept: ‘fun jazz.’ But of course he has toyed with similar concepts, recording Duo with Leon Parker last year and Natty Dread, the 1997 remake of Bob Marley’s record.

Where Hunter’s loud jazz excels over other guitar projects is this music isn’t smooth, pop, or fusion music. It shares its traits with blues, a stripping away to the essence of sound (a trademark of Leon Parker’s solo records). Take his duo performance of Thelonious Monk’s “Epistrophy.” Spun as a Latin tune, it could have been part of Marc Ribot’s Cuban project. Like Ribot, Hunter is playing party music and “Al Green” is the slow dance you’ve waited forall night to ask the redhead out.

Adding the brass on four tracks adds a thickness to the groove, but not a complexity. Apfelbaum and Roseman’s fat tone is more New Orleans than New York. Like Stanley Turrentine or Freddie Hubbard twenty years ago, Hunter is poised to hook your heart before your head on his jazz music.

Track List:Rendezvous Avec La Verite; Two For Bleu; Al Green; Nothin’ But Trouble; Cloud Splitter; Epistrophy; Flau Flau; Dersu (a slight return); Someday We’ll All Be Free.

Personnel: Charlie Hunter

| Record Label: Blue Note Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


More Articles

Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read The Invariant CD/LP/Track Review The Invariant
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read "Choice" CD/LP/Track Review Choice
by Dave Wayne
Published: October 7, 2016
Read "Ante Lucem for Symphony Orchestra and Jazz Quintet" CD/LP/Track Review Ante Lucem for Symphony Orchestra and Jazz Quintet
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 3, 2016
Read "I Have Known Mountains" CD/LP/Track Review I Have Known Mountains
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 25, 2016
Read "Paris" CD/LP/Track Review Paris
by Duncan Heining
Published: November 23, 2016
Read "The Great Jazz Gig In The Sky" CD/LP/Track Review The Great Jazz Gig In The Sky
by Roger Farbey
Published: July 8, 2016
Read "88" CD/LP/Track Review 88
by Mark Sullivan
Published: October 24, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!