Groundtruther — Longitude
(Thirsty Ear THI 57160.2, 2005, CD)
by Jeff Melton, Published 2006-05-01
The second installment of Charlie Hunter’s project with drummer Bobby Previte includes New York sampling wizard DJ Logic in the rotating performer chair for a set of twelve sonic groove experiments. Hunter’s guitar playing is unabashed as he wails away on top of many pulsing beats as heard on the groove opener, “Transit of Venus.” Logic is especially effective using voice interjections and scratching to create a modern feel unlike most jazz-inflected dance recordings. The short understated follow-up piece, “Tycho Brahe” (named after the astronomer) provides a smooth transition into the slippery mood of “March 1741, Cape Horn.” Previte’s tight drumming interacts with Logic’s cinematic sound embellishments while Hunter keeps a low profile until he establishes a heavy groove with his custom eight-string battle axe. “Course Made Good” is pure Hendrix circa Axis: Bold as Love with Hunter and Previte riffing away on a sweet groove. At times Hunter’s playing reminds me of Adrian Belew’s wilder trebly moments, as heard on the introduction to “Dead Reckoning,” which is the best rave-up vamp recorded live by the combustible trio. In contrast, “Jupiter Mask” nearly re-invents the modern heavy blues rock motif with a vicious lead into a bass heavy riff complemented by bluesy twisted guitar. The disc also comes with a wondrously restrained four minute hidden ambient track which begins much like in Fripp and Eno ominous mode before transitioning into quiet ending that would make Cluster proud.
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