hunter's-dinerant

The place was still not crowded–it was the hour when men who have been up all night meet those who are freshly wakened and ready to start a new day. The sleepy waitress was serving both beer and coffee. There was no noise or conversation, for each person seemed to be alone. The mutual distrust between the men who were just awakened and those who were ending a long night gave everyone a feeling of estrangement.
—  Carson McCullers, The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter

Comprised of Charlie Hunter (guitar), Curtis Fowlkes (trombone) and Bobby Previte (drums), the members of the Charlie Hunter Trio have shared a long, twisting and turning history together. Previte and Fowlkes can trace their careers to the very beginnings of the Lower Manhattan-based Downtown Jazz scene in the early 1970s; in fact, Fowlkes is a member of the renowned The Lounge Lizards and The Jazz Passengers, while Previte has written well over 200 original compositions and recorded 25 albums. Hunter and Previte have toured and recorded together in a number of all-star ensembles including The Coalition of the Willing (a quintet which features the duo of Hunter and Previte, along with Steven Bernstein, Skerik and Marco Benevento), Omaha Diner (a quartet which features Hunter and Previte teaming up with Bernstein and Skerik) and the free improv project Groundtruther, a project that assumes a new form with each special guest – and the list of performers and collaborators is currently over three dozen, including Greg Osby, John Medeski, DJ Olive, Peter Apfelbaum, Uri Caine and Jane Ira Bloom

Interestingly during that same period, Hunter had a stripped-down guitar and drum duo with Scott Amendola, and with a desire to expand upon his sound and the textual possibilities both in the studio and on the road, Hunter called Fowlkes and Previte with the idea for collaborating as a trio. And according to Hunter, the compositions with the trio were written with each musician’s strengths and to showcase a different side of each performer’s talents, as well –as Hunter says of Previte: “He’s probably known as a composer more than anything else. But he’s always been one of my favorite drummers. He came up in the 1960s and he the beat. You have to have lived it to have that feel. Because of his composer’s mind, we can play the simplest groove and it becomes something really exiting and compositional.” And as he says of Fowlkes: “I wanted somebody with a vibe who understands free improv, and Al Green and Frank Sinatra, and Sam Cooke. I wanted someone who can sing on their horn. I needed Curtis.” 

“Those People,” the first single off the Charlie Hunter Trio’s debut effort together, Let The Bells Ring On possesses a slow-burning and breezy pimp strutting funk that sounds as though the band had been attempting to channel both the late, great Chuck Brown, Cochemea Gastelum’s The Electric Sound of Johnny Arrow and Josh Roseman Unit’s Treats for the Nightwalker and yet is spacious enough to allow both Hunter and Fowlkes to build upon and play with ideas around a relatively simple theme held together by Previte’s drumming.