Charlie Hunter

COMPOSERS: Various
LABELS: Blue Note
WORKS: Charlie Hunter
PERFORMER: Charlie Hunter (g), Peter Apfelbaum (ts), Josh Roseman (tb), Leon Parker (d), Steven Copek, Robert Perkins (perc)
CATALOGUE NO: 5 25450 2

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Search on the album credits for the bass player: you won’t find one. The amazing aspect of Charlie Hunter’s music is that he is simultaneously responsible for lead and bass lines. His custom-made electric guitar has eight strings and the bottom three are put through a separate amp. But there’s no gimmickry intended.

Like the Sixties organ players who influenced the 32-year-old guitarist (they played the bass lines with their feet), doubling up enables Hunter to get the greasy, swinging sound he wants. It also adds another dimension to his improvising. The joy of Hunter is that he combines the facility of a classical player, the sensibility of a blues man and the jazz musician’s sense of adventure.

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This sixth recording for Blue Note is a characteristically funky, percussion-adorned affair, the addition of brass on several numbers taking him out of the post-modern supper club to somewhere brighter and more boppy. But the last track, a luminous reading of the soul number ‘Someday We’ll All be Free’ suggests he could, and should, record a solo session next. Garry Booth