Charlie Hunter

Gentlemen, I Neglected to Inform You You Will Not Be Getting Paid

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Charlie Hunter is a restless musician. It seems like he doesn't go more than an album or two before he finds a new setting for himself. And so it is with Gentlemen, I Neglected to Inform You You Will Not Be Getting Paid, where he changes drummers yet again and swaps keyboards for two trombones and a trumpet. But the horns aren't really there as front-line players competing with Hunter. They get a few solos here and there but they're mostly employed as an old-school R&B horn section, used for color and embellishment. In fact, they sit out completely for long stretches on the tunes, leaving plenty of space for Hunter's amazing playing. With the horns out of the way and just drummer Eric Kalb supporting, it's difficult to fathom how Hunter accounts for the rest of the music in real time. It's not just that he's playing basslines and leads simultaneously; it's the way they play against each other rhythmically. It's hard to believe that only one brain and two hands can pull it off. Highlights include the New Orleans shuffle of "Antoine" and the uptempo title track. The horns get some room on "High Pockets and a Fanny Pack" and "Drop a Dime," while "You Look So Good in Orange" has such a classic soul feel you can almost hear it being sung by someone from the Hi Records roster (it'll need lyrics first, but still). Overall, another rock-solid outing from Charlie Hunter. The one thing that sets this album apart from all his others, though? This album was recorded "in glorious mono" (presumably so it sounds great on AM radio in your car). Turn it up.

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