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Gentlemen, I Neglected to Inform You You Will Not Be Getting Paid

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iTunes Review

Charlie Hunter is an unusual guitarist. Not only is his musical approach unique, but so is his instrument. For nearly 20 years Hunter has played custom-built seven- and eight-string electric guitars that allow him to play melodic leads, fat bass lines, and rhythm guitar simultaneously. His technique is extraordinary yet his music is all about feel, a fluid mix of funk, blues, and soulful jazz. The way he locks in a bass groove with drummer Eric Kalb while still firing off crisp melody lines is jaw dropping. And there is plenty to groove to on this release. Moving away from his recent trio format for this album, here he and Kalb are joined by the ultra-talented horn section of Curtis Fowlkes and Alan Ferber on trombones and Eric Biondo on trumpet; the quintet catches fire throughout. “Antoine” and “High Pockets and a Fanny Pack” swing like mad, “High and Dry” and “Every Day You Wake Up and New York Says No” are marvelously mellow and melodic, and the title track is pure stuttering funk. These nine songs are concise, spare, and catchy with lots of space and precious few solos — just superb, no-frills jams from start to finish.

Customer Reviews

He just keeps evolving.

The clear line of evolution that Charlie has shown in his past four albums continues here as he lays down quirky jazz funk and rock grooves. This time around Charlie ditches the keyboards for two trombones and a trumpet, although the two tracks "High and Dry" and "Gentlemen..." are both duo songs without the horns. Every song on this album grooves hard, the horns add an excellent flavor to the songs, it's refreshing to hear brass on this album instead of the saxaphone from earlier albums. Eric Kalb is very funky on drums and gets more room to move than on his albums with Sharon Jones, check out his drumming on tracks 5 and 9. One interesting thing about this album is that Charlie decided to re-record "Drop a Dime" just two albums after the original version on Mistico (one of my favorites off of that album). The version on here is not as good as the Mistico version, but I do not think that was the point; it serves to show Charlie's creative and evolutionary process of playing and evolving his songs long after the band lineups change. Indeed the song has changed a bit and the new version is fantastic. So buy this album and support one of the most creative musicians around. Go see him live too.

Musicianship is great - compositions are so-so.

After 5 great albums in a row: Right Now Move, Friends Seen and Unseen, Copperopolis, Mistico, and Baboon Strength (AND all the Garage A Trois/Stanton Moore stuff) - I was expecting a bit more. As per usual, I gave the album many listens before my verdict. This one doesn't quite grab me like the other ones did. It seems to me as though the song ideas are a bit recycled. Almost as if he was relying more on the instrumentation change than the actual material.

Don't get me wrong, it's still an OK record, just not up to the standards set by his previous albums. That said, it's good to know that Mr Hunter might, after all, be of this earth and human. You can't win them all.

Keep making them, Charlie. I'll keep listening. You're still my favorite :)

Charlie is BACK!

Wow. This album is fantastic. Charlie Hunter is back. I wonder how did he know I look good in Orange?


Born: 1968 in Rhode Island

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

As a young guitarist growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Charlie Hunter was looking for a way to stand out in the '80s. His primary influences were jazz great Joe Pass and the fluid Tuck Andress (of the guitar/vocal duo Tuck & Patti), both six-string guitarists who were adept at blending bass notes into their standard guitar melodies to make themselves sound like two musicians at once. But Hunter wanted to take it one step further and set out to find an instrument on which he could simultaneously...
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