|Charlie Hunter Trio|
|Let The Bells Ring On|
Charlie Hunter Trio — Let The Bells Ring On (June 9, 2015)
♠ After first previewing parts of this album on Soundcloud I found myself going back to it again and again for the pure enjoyability factor. This is folksy, blues oriented roots music. Played in a frills free, unadulterated style that is both honest and endearing. Hunter has an inherent sense of how to make his seven string guitar sing and Fowlkes gruff trombone voice is the perfect compliment to the Hunter gusty aesthetic. Traps master Bobby Previte plays in the pocket with unadorned punctuality and confident saunter. The music is gritty and cries out to you as being from the heart and the heartland, at times stinging, at times whimsical. A fun album you'll find yourself going back to this tableaux of songs for seconds. Birth name: Charlie Hunter
Born: May 23, 1967, Rhode Island
Origin: Berkeley, California, U.S.
Location: New Orleans, Louisiana ~~ Berkeley, California, U.S.
Notable instruments: 8–string guitar/bass hybrid, custom built by Ralph Novak
Album release: CD on April 14, 2015 and vinyl on July 21, 2015
Recording date: January 5, 2015 – January 7, 2015
Record Label: Charlie Hunter Music
01. Anthem: USA 4:04
02. These People 4:20
03. Pho–Kus–On–Ho–Ho–Kus 5:37
04. Let The Bells Ring On 4:56
05. Hillbilly Heroine Chic 4:50
06. Welcome To Nutley 4:34
07. Fellini Farm Team 4:39
08. Ojai Housecoat Of Arms 3:32
09. Vernel 4:22
10. Spence 2:51
℗ 2015 Charlie Hunter MusicPersonnel:
♠ Charlie Hunter — 7–string guitar
♠ Curtis Fowlkes — trombone
♠ Bobby Previte — drums, cymbals
♠ Fabian Rucker — Recording and Mix engineer
♠ Recorded: February 5 — 7, 2015 at Three Horses In A Wood, Claverack, NY
♠ Mastered by Dave McNair
♠ Cover photograph by Leo Gandelman
♠ All songs composed by Charlie Hunter (CHT Publishing (ASCAP))
AllMusic Review by Sean Westergaard; Score: ****½
♠ Charlie Hunter is the best kind of restless musician. Just about every new album brings another new ensemble and new possibilities. This time out, Hunter teams with drummer Bobby Previte (who he has recorded with extensively) and trombonist Curtis Fowlkes (who played on Hunter's 2003 album Right Now Move). Both players have been stalwarts of the N.Y.C. jazz scene since the late '70s but have played on any number of jazz, rock, and pop recordings. As players, they really know how to serve a song rather than put their imprint on it and Hunter takes full advantage with a really strong batch of tunes that play less like jazz and more like classic pop and soul tunes. ♠ They've got strong, catchy melodies, nice changes, and in–the–pocket grooves that can't be beat. Any solos are not just economical; they stay so close to the melodies that they're almost like lyrics. There's no flashy playing or showing off to speak of, just a bunch of great tunes and three great musicians working to do them justice. Some tracks are so catchy, you'll think they've rearranged an old song that you already know. While sounding completely contemporary, Let the Bells Ring On is a great album that harks back to a time when jazz was actually popular music (Ramsey Lewis, Young–Holt Unlimited, Ahmad Jamal) and the song came ahead of the players. ♠ http://www.allmusic.com/
REVIEW BY S. VICTOR AARON, May 6, 2015
♠ The term “Charlie Hunter Trio” can mean a lot of different things, depending on who is playing alongside Hunter’s guitar/bass Novax and the drums of someone else. ♠ That meant a saxophonist in the 90s and the first half of the aughts. In 2007, John Ellis’ sax was replaced by Erik Deutsch’s keyboards (for Mistico) and now, that third member is Lounge Lizard and Jazz Passengers trombone specialist Curtis Fowlkes.
♠ The association among the three goes back many years; Fowlkes appeared on Hunter’s Right Now Move quintet release from 2003 and Previte with Hunter make up the core players for their free–improv Groundtruther project. With Hunter once again getting the urge to expand from the duo format he’s enjoyed the last several years with drummer Scott Amendola, he called in Fowlkes to be that third voice.
♠ On June 2, Hunter leads Fowlkes and Previte in this new/old trio from Let The Bells Ring On, expected for release June 2, 2015 on Hunter’s own Charlie Hunter Music.
♠ It’s readily apparent from the above stream of “Those People”, an advance track from Bells, that the extra ‘voice’ instantly makes the music distinguishable from, say, the sparer encounters with Amendola. Fowlkes adds a jazzier presence that perfectly complements Hunter’s and Previte’s tough Memphis groove. The guitarist cedes nearly all the lead duties to the ‘bone player, but the rhythm work bubbling just underneath is just as attention–grabbing and Fowlkes plays locked closely attuned to his two–man, three instrument rhythm section.
♠ Charlie Hunter continues to organically make happy music that’s hard to classify but easy to recognize as his own. No matter who rounds out that trio. ~ S. Victor Aaron
♠ Charlie Hunter Introduces a New Trio With Let the Bells Ring On, a Program of Evocatively Greasy Originals Reuniting the 7–String Guitar Wizard with Longtime Collaborators Trombone Master Curtis Fowlkes and Drum Maestro Bobby Previte
♠ Charlie Hunter, Curtis Fowlkes and Bobby Previte share a whole lot of history, but they’ve never recorded an album like Let the Bells Ring On. Gritty, greasy, and downright celebratory, the album features 10 original tunes by Hunter designed for the trio’s singular, deep–pocket sound. Hunter is releasing the album on CD on April 14, 2015 and vinyl on July 21, 2015 on his label Charlie Hunter Music.
♠ Previte and Fowlkes, a charter member of the Lounge Lizards and the Jazz Passengers, were both essential participants on Downtown scene in the 1970s and have worked together in countless settings over the years. Hunter and Previte have toured and recorded together in various all–star cooperative ensembles, such as The Coalition of the Willing (with fellow renegades Steven Bernstein, Skerik, and Marco Benevento) and more recently Omaha Diner, the deconstructivist quartet with Bernstein and Skerik.
♠ But their most extensive undertaking is the free improv project Groundtruther, a protean project that assumes a new form with each special guest (a list that encompasses more than three dozen players, including Greg Osby, John Medeski, DJ Olive, Peter Apfelbaum, Uri Caine, and Jane Ira Bloom). For Let the Bells Ring On, Hunter was looking to showcase a different side of Previte.
♠ “He’s probably known as a composer more than anything else,” Hunter says. “But he’s always been one of my favorite drummers. He came up in the 1960s, and he has the beat. You have to have lived it to have that feel. Because of his composer’s mind, we can play the simplest groove and it becomes something really exciting and compositional.”
♠ This trio can go anywhere. Exploring a variety of sonic spaces, the tunes range from the foreboding tension and release of “Anthem: USA” and the tautly cinematic “Fellini Farm Team” to the antic hoedown “Hillbilly Heroine Chic” and churchy waltz “Spence.”
♠ After several years of focusing on his stripped–down duo with drummer Scott Amendola, Hunter wanted to expand his textural and orchestrational possibilities. He had called on Fowlkes for his 2003 quintet album Right Now Move (Ropeadope) and couldn’t resist his huge, soul–drenched sound and vivid palette for his new trio.
♠ “Conceptually I’ve been doing a duo thing with Scott that I love, but I wanted to have that third voice,” Hunter says. “I wanted somebody with a vibe who understands free improv and Al Green and Frank Sinatra and Sam Cooke. I wanted someone who can sing on their horn. I needed Curtis.”
♠ Photos from the Charlie Hunter Trio live at Yoshi’s West in San Francisco on December 13, 2007. The trio featured Charlie on guitar, Scott Amendola on drums, and Erik Deutsch on keys, along with special guests the Campbell Brothers on steel guitars.
|Charlie Hunter Trio|
|Let The Bells Ring On|