Charlie Hunter & Leon Parker: Duo

Jim Santella By

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Guitarist Charlie Hunter and percussionist Leon Parker have more going for them than two hands apiece. Hunter can produce several lines simultaneously and evoke organ, bass and guitar, while Parker runs the gamut of textures from his set. Hunter’s composition "The Last Time," for example, finds Parker with one hand on the drums and another with pulsating shaker, while his partner combines a bass line with melody via his 8-string guitar. Just about everyone has wanted to play guitar at one time or other, and Hunter brings that kind of daydream closer to the heart, if not reality. Six of the tracks on Duo are the guitarist’s compositions, one is Parker’s contribution, and several are old favorites. Background information about Charlie Hunter may be found at http://www.charliehunter.com . An informative article about Leon Parker may be found at http://www.metroactive.com/papers/cruz/10.24.96/parker-9643.html .

The duo’s performance offers a variety of rhythmic patterns, both familiar and on the edge. "Mean Streak" provides a gala Afro-Cuban storm, while "The Spin Seekers" drives to a New Orleans shuffle. Hunter’s dedication "Calypso for Grandpa" swirls happily like a "St. Thomas" cousin. There is blues in the picture as well. "Do That Then" is a clear example of the kind of guitar blues that appeals to fans of any age. Deep 1950s fuzz guitar with amp vibrato pours forth with standards "You Don’t Know What Love is" and "Put Your Head on my Shoulder." The walking bass and ride cymbal of Hunter’s "Dark Corner" is guaranteed to introduce more GenXers to the many facets of jazz.

Title: Duo | Year Released: 1999 | Record Label: Magneoton


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