Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Charlie Hunter Hank Williams 2014

 
Hunter & Amendola rework the melodies of Hank Williams into an improvisational wonderland!
 
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
 
Charlie Hunter has always been the six string or in this case eight string wild card in improvisational music. Expect the unexpected and just listen...
Hank Williams is part two of a four part EP project that began with The Cars which was promptly driven straight into the proverbial harmonic telephone poll. Calling it average was to be kind. Hank Williams is a huge improvement but then again when you are covering great material you have a little more to work with than a pop band that well...never mind.
 
There would be an almost natural if not understandable knee jerk reaction to a take a "Bill Frisell" approach to these four tunes. Doesn't happen, close at times but Charlie Hunter digs a bit deeper despite having some arrangements disguise some great melodies. "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry" and "Your Cheatin' Heart" more than make up for any self indulgent reharms that while inventive are doing little more than placing the listener in an endless loop of lyrical exploration which borders on the tedious.
 
This five track EP requires little in the way of critical analysis. Hank Williams is a step up in melodic weight class and Hunter and Amendola respond with a nice little gem that is harmonically unique and a lyrical vision that takes that melodic road less traveled. Far better than average.
 
4 Stars.
 
Tracks: Move It On Over; I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry; Cold Cold Heart; Ramblin' Man; Your Cheatin' Heart.
 
Personnel: Charlie Hunter 8 String Guitar; Scott Amendola: Drums.