Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Charlie Hunter : Mistico

Guitarist Charlie Hunter continues pursuing a sound built on the textures of Southern rock. On 2006’s Copperopolis, he wedded that style to jazz via John Ellis’ hard-boppish saxophone and bass clarinet; on the impressive Mistico, Hunter drops the reeds (and the bop) entirely, working only with drummer Simon Lott and keyboardist Erik Deutsch, who plays piano, Fender Rhodes and CasioTone.

On his own instrument, Hunter swipes blues wails, and licks, from B.B. King and Duane Allman, but doesn’t actually play any blues on the album. Often just one chord, Mistico’s songs dress up in rock and roll’s rawness (“Speakers Built In”) and power (the aptly titled “Balls”). Hunter, however, solos with jazzy structure and drama, bends notes a la steel guitar, gives Deutsch’s soulful Rhodes room to strut, and adds lots of reverb (resembling Sun Records’ old “slapback” production), transforming the music into ghostly Americana that echoes in roadhouses long gone.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.
Originally Published