Using his big, booming baritone voice, Tom Hunter sings jazz and blues with a convincing delivery. Much of the program on Here I Go Again, his third album, recalls the traditional spirit of Dr. John and like-minded artists from the Big Easy. Coincidentally, he also plays organ and piano, making those keys sparkle alongside each vocal selection. However, Hunter has put so much variety into his program that there's just no way to pigeonhole him.
Never trust a man who hasn't paid his dues. Hunter has been there, done that, and it shows up in each of these twelve selections. After music school, he joined the navy, then moved around a bit, from New York to South Carolina and settling in Minneapolis. While in the South, he worked for three years in a down-home setting at Myrtle Beach. Today, he continues to work more than 300 nights a year.
The Sonny Rollins classic Tenor Madness is offered up as an instrumental number. Hunter's piano swings and romps along with acoustic bass, electric guitar, and drums. The quartet drives with plenty of spirit. Hunter's vocals give the rest of the album a soulful element that comes loaded with genuine, deep-down soul. The songs that he's selected represent unique and familiar individuals such as Ray Charles, Tom Waits, Dr. John, Billy Joel, and Doc Pomus.
Two original songs reveal the true blue spirit of Hunter's character. He's just a tad over forty, but he's seen the world through a bluesman's eyes and a jazzman's ears. And he continues to do his thing night after night.
Basin Street Blues carries a big load of tradition. As Hunter explains in familiar terms,
Ain't you glad you went with me Way on down the Mississippi We took a boat to the land of dreams Heaven and earth, they call it Basin Street.
Track Listing: I Underestimated You; Imitation of Love; Here I Go Again; The Night is a Hunter; New York State of Mind; Ever Since the World Began; New Coat of Paint; Basin Street Blues; Tenor Madness; Nothings for Free; Drown in my Own Tears; Layin in the Alley.
Personnel: Tom Hunter: lead vocals, piano, Fender Rhodes, Hammond organ; Jon Gunner Gunvaldson:
guitar; Keith Boyles: bass; Rob Stupka: drums; Peter Vircks: tenor saxophone on New York
State of Mind; Tonya Hughes, Nessy Davis, Latonius Earl: background vocals on Here I Go
Again and Drown in My Own Tears.
I love jazz because next to my kids, it's the love of my life.
I was first exposed to jazz by Joe Rico from a tiny station in Niagara Falls in 1954 when I was 13.
The best show I ever attended was Maynard Ferguson who blew the roof off Massey Hall in the late 50s.
My advice to new listeners is to listen to everything you can and then listen again.