Jun 10 2015
It’s always interesting checking out new Charlie Hunter releases. The guitarist habitually gets involved in projects that don’t quite toe the line of conventional sensibilities, while, at the same time, he keeps close enough to the center of things so that the music never becomes solely about the experiment and not, y’know, the sound. His recent collaborations with drummer Scott Amendola (tackling the music of Duke Ellington and Cole Porter) and Dionne Farris (for a take on the Dionne Warwick songbook) would be nice examples of the way Hunter gravitates to projects that are something different while remaining supremely familiar. So, too, would his new trio release, Let the Bells Ring On.
Hunter and his 7-string guitar are joined on this session by veteran scenesters and long-time collaborators, trombonist Curtis Fowlkes and drummer Bobby Previte. This is music that sets its roots deep in the soil, sounding like something old given new life. It’s also music that possesses plenty of energy. The tempos hop and bounce and charge forward, sometimes with a lope, sometimes at a gallop. The melodies tend to match the motion of the moment, but every so often they slowly stretch out their limbs and luxuriate in the space between the beats. It’s an effect that adds a lovely bit of contrast and a residual warmth to songs bursting with an exuberance groove.
When they do lay off the gas pedal, as they do on “Fellini Farm Team,” things get all kinds of pretty, and the contemplative tone goes a long way to adding some depth to an album that takes its fun seriously.
The album ends on a celebratory note with the boisterous “Spence,” a song that echoes the jubilant nature and charm that marks this album as its own.
Your album personnel: Charlie Hunter (7-string guitar), Curtis Fowlkes (trombone) and Bobby Previte (drums, cymbals).
The album is Self-Produced.
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