In 1993 San Francisco's white guitarist Charlie Hunter (1968),
a former musical partner of white rapper Michael Franti and member of his rap-rock group Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy (1992), formed a bass-less trio with tenor saxophonist Dave Ellis and drummer Jay Lane (a former member of the rock group Primus) that heralded the golden age of acid-jazz.
After the funky mini-orgies of Charlie Hunter Trio (may 1993),
Hunter embraced a custom-made eight-string guitar (that allowed him to play rhythm and melody simultaneously) and added a more sophisticated
jazz touch to Bing Bing Bing (1995).
Scott Amendola replaced Lane before Ready Set Shango (1996),
that also added saxophonist Calder Spanier to the line-up, thus turning the trio
into a quartet.
Ellis was replaced by Kenny Brooks of Alphabet Soup
while trumpeter Chuck MacKinnon, vibraphonist Stefon Harris and
percussionist John Santos were added to form a septet, renamed Pound For Pound.
However, Hunter disposed of the horns and pared down the band to a quartet of
guitar, drums, percussion and vibraphone for Return of the Candyman (september 1997).
These were all fun albums that were popular with the intellectual disco crowd because they focused on the groove.
Relocating to New York in 1997, Hunter turned increasingly towards a guitar-centric take on his funk-soul-jazz fusion, but the results were mediocre at best:
a Duo (december 1998) with drummer Leon Parker,
Charlie Hunter (january 2000) in a sextet with trombonist Josh Roseman, tenor saxophonist Peter Apfelbaum and three percussionists,
a very disappointing Solo Eight-String Guitar (may 2000),
Songs from the Analog Playground (2001) that featured vocalists.
He partially redeemed himself with
Right Now Move (2003), in a quintet with
trombonist Curtis Fowlkes, tenor saxophonist John Ellis, harmonica player Gregoire Maret and a drummer.
Come In Red Dog This is Tango Leader (february 2003) was the first installment of Groundtruther, a trio with drummer Bobby Previte.
The project continued on Latitude (2004), featuring Greg Osby as the third member, and Longitude (september 2004), featuring DJ Logic.
The trio of Friends Seen and Unseen (2004) marked a timit return to his
Gentlemen, I Neglected To Inform You You Will Not Be Getting Paid
(august 2009) features
Eric Kalb on drums, Alan
Ferber and Curtis Fowlkes on trombones, Eric Biondo on trumpet.
Not Getting Behind Is The New Getting Ahead (may 2012) documents an
improvised session with
drummer Scott Amendola.
The Charlie Hunter Trio, featuring Bobby Previte on percussion and Curtis Fowlkes on trombone, returned with Let The Bells Ring On (february 2015).
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