Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for readers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

587

Charlie Hunter Trio: Mistico

Chris May By

Sign in to view read count
On Mistico, Charlie Hunter finally, after a couple of near misses, gets in touch with his inner rock guitarist. The disc's immediate predecessors—Copperopolis (Ropeadope, 2006) and Longitude (Thirsty Ear, 2005)—inhabited similarly full-on visceral territory, but here those albums' funk quotients are reduced to practically zero in favor of dirty, confrontational, rock 'n' roll. Nothing on Mistico is on the one. It's all on the two and four. It ain't bad so much as it's nasty.



It's simple, lo-fi music, and we're told that most tracks were recorded in one or two takes, without any charts. There's only one ballad, "Estranged," with the rest in the main consisting of greasy mid-tempo guitar riffs bounced off fat drum backbeats. Uncluttered, rhythmically and harmonically unsophisticated, but always flowing, and played with total conviction. Simple in the best sense of the word.



It's also post-modern, in the best sense of that word, with Hunter's singular, twisted guitar textures and Erik Deutsch's inventive keyboard sonorities mashed up with a host of rock and electric blues references going back over thirty years. Heliotropic psychedelic flashbacks figure large in the schema, in Deutsch's playing and in Hunter's too, and the leader's 7-string guitar (he's recently had the eighth string removed and the neck shaved down) sometimes sounds more like a revved up Hammond B3 or Mellotron than a string instrument.



From back in the day I hear, or imagine, keyboard adventurer Keith Emerson with the Nice, the Doors, guitarists George Harrison and John Lennon rocking out on The White Album (Apple, 1968), bluesman Buddy Guy making his guitar weep with pleasure. From more recently, ZZ Top and Lynyrd Skynrd. Emerson sometimes plunged a nine-inch Bowie knife into his keyboard, producing a sustained wailing dissonance and, more importantly, striking a no-nonsense theatrical attitude. That pretty much sums up the tenor of Mistico.



Some of Hunter's original listeners—if they're still listening to him, which most of them probably are not—will hear Mistico as the nadir of a trajectory which started promisingly with the relatively straight-ahead Bing...Bing...Bing (Blue Note, 1995) before beginning its final groove-driven "descent" with Tales From The Analog Playground (Blue Note, 2000). I love those earlier albums myself, but I love Mistico too. We all need a little mindless boogie in our lives.


Track Listing: Lady; Speakers Built In; Estranged; Balls; Wizard Sleeve; Drop A Dime; Spoken Word; Special Shirt; Mistico; Chimp Gut.

Personnel: Charlie Hunter: 7-string guitar; Erik Deutsch: piano, Fender Rhodes, CasioTune; Simon Lott: drums.

Title: Mistico | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Fantasy Jazz

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Roppongi CD/LP/Track Review Roppongi
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 19, 2018
Read Is Life Long? CD/LP/Track Review Is Life Long?
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 19, 2018
Read Contra la indecision CD/LP/Track Review Contra la indecision
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: January 19, 2018
Read Vessel in Orbit CD/LP/Track Review Vessel in Orbit
by Don Phipps
Published: January 19, 2018
Read Pulse/Quartet CD/LP/Track Review Pulse/Quartet
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: January 19, 2018
Read OR CD/LP/Track Review OR
by Geno Thackara
Published: January 18, 2018
Read "Silent Voices" CD/LP/Track Review Silent Voices
by Nicholas F. Mondello
Published: August 4, 2017
Read "The Four Seasons" CD/LP/Track Review The Four Seasons
by Roger Farbey
Published: November 16, 2017
Read "Urban Soul" CD/LP/Track Review Urban Soul
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 20, 2017
Read "Presence" CD/LP/Track Review Presence
by Geannine Reid
Published: January 17, 2018
Read "Songs Without Words" CD/LP/Track Review Songs Without Words
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: July 3, 2017
Read "Just The Way We Are" CD/LP/Track Review Just The Way We Are
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 27, 2017