Ever-evolving Charlie Hunter brings his band to Vail
About a week ago, I heard that the Charlie Hunter Trio was playing Samana Lounge. Hunter is one hell of a musician. He plays this cool guitar-looking instrument that has seven strings so that he can play bass, lead and rhythm guitars … thats right, one man playing bass and guitar. This is not the same move that corporations are currently using to consolidate positions in order to get through these tough economic times, but instead an impressive musical skill that Charlie has been perfecting for almost 20 years ever since he first made waves opening for U2 in a band fronted by Michael Franti. Im not joking when I say that you really believe there are two people a bassist and guitarist on stage at the same time. This is a talent that he himself calls an uphill battle and cautions all musicians and aspiring musicians against ever trying.Then, just like finding a $20 bill in the pocket of a pair of jeans lying on my floor for weeks, I found out that the Charlie Hunter Trio is no longer a trio and that journeyman saxophone player Cochemea is now part of the band. Cochemea plays a definitive style of jazz and soul that reminds me of the days when I was first turned on to Charlie Hunter back in the late 90s when he was collaborating with a group of up-and-coming artists who defined a period of music that was experimental, jazzy, funky and soulful. (It was) one big musical blur where everyone was learning from each other, Hunter said during a recent phone interview. Up and comers like Hunter along with Stanton Moore, Karl Denson, Mike Dillon, DJ Logic and others were spending time together in New Orleans and New York City, infusing their styles and playing together.This improvisational nature is alive and well in the newest Charlie Hunter band (I guess it would be called a quartet), which features talented musicians Eric Kalb and Eric Biondo joining Hunter and Cochemea for what Hunter describes as improvisational R&B with jazz mixed in.Cochemea is so new to the lineup that he werent even on the most recent Charlie Hunter release, Baboon Strength, an album that hasnt hit music stores yet but will be available on CD at tonights show. Hosting a rotating group of artists is part of the ever-evolving nature of Hunters music, a platform of musical intrigue, which he said hes still learning. Hunter believes that playing with new and interesting musicians keeps everything fresh, a theory that has worked for him in the past.Todd Altschuler is an advertising consultant at the Vail Daily. E-mail comments about this story to email@example.com.
Who: Charlie Hunter and his bandWhen: Wednesday, 10 p.m.Where: Samana Lounge, VailCost: $15 in advance from samanalounge.comMore information: Call 970-476-3433