his fifth release, Hunter points himself
in a refreshing new direction. "I
not only wanted to play in a more percussive
setting this time out, but I also wanted
to dig into new realms of tonality and
timbre. Don't get me wrong. I love the
horns, but I'd been doing that for so long
that I wanted to go after something different.
Above all I wanted to make a groove album
which meant coming up with a strong rhythm
had been listening to alot of vibes players
lately, people like Bobby Hutcherson, Milt
Jackson, and especially Steve Nelson who
sounds great on Dave Holland's latest
album (Dream of the Elders). I was excited
by the fresh tonal possibilities as well
as the versatility of the instrument and
how it would blend in with the rest of
the rhythm section. The people at Blue
Note had been hipping me to [Stefon
Harris]. They sent me a tape of
his music and Stefon was killing. I knew
I had to get his sound and intensity of
playing. He was so great to work with.
Stefon's such an open-minded cool dude.
Plus, he's got a great attitude. He gives
100% to the music."
sought out John
Santos for his addition on percussion
"to add extra funkification to the vibe,"
and with Scott
Amendola on drums, Charlie found
what he was searching for. "This is
what I had in mind when I first started thinking
about this album. I'm really pleased with
the results. We recorded a great record for
hip-hop DJ's to sample."
call this lineup Pound for Pound? "Catchy,
isn't it? I just like how it sounds. I
got the idea watching the boxer Roy Jones
Jr. being interviewed on a talk show. He
was saying that as a middleweight or light
heavyweight boxer, he didn't make a whole
lot of money, but pound for pound he claimed
he was the best fighter in the land."
is the album called Return of the Candyman?
Charlie smiles, "Because we wanted
to have a creepy picture of a clown on
the cover. It's so freaky. It's supposed
to look like one of those black velvet
paintings. Plus, I can't think of another
jazz group that would ever put out an album
with a cover like this."
Bongo Confront - "I wanted
to write pieces that were meant to serve
as interludes. Again, I wanted to do
something different, to make these little
band statements that fade out. I think
of them as these tiny organic samples."
the Dragon - The complex time
signature starting off this tune was
inspired by the late martial arts expert,
Like An Eagle - "We were at
a gig in North Hampton and we said we
would take requests from the audience.
And someone requested 'Fly Like and Eagle'
and [John Coltrane's] 'Giant Steps.'
Both are just preposterous requests.
So we decided to do both of them at the
same time, or in one arrangement. And
I started doing it and realized it's
a pretty good tune for what it is. The
way we played it was ironic or something
- playing it close to the original. Scott
put that go-go beat on top of it. So
we said, 'Why not?'"
Steve Miller is the corniest motherfucker
says Hunter. "But you know his production
was killing. His guitar playing was really
fucking good. And his rhythm section on that
cut is killing. That is badass. I remember
listening to that on my transistor radio
when I was eight years old and being blown
away, especially be the intro."
All members of the band wrote this tune
"It is a fun little New Orleans-type
ditty. We hit it and grooved."
Relaxation - This is another interlude,
but it is an interpretation of a Ronnie
Foster tune entitled "Electric Relaxation".
of the Candyman - Another funky tune
Hunter had performed with his previous
band. He made no changes to the arrangement
of this tune.
for Pound - This tune was influenced
by Curtis Mayfield's music. "The
tune may not sound like Curtis, but
I think of him whenever we play it."
Comfort - Another interlude.
Here is a tune Hunter used to play with
the Quartet, but here he rearranged it
from the way it used to be played. "I
changed it around because I felt we needed
at least one real slow tune for the album.
I'm really happy with how it came out."
Shake It Baby - This tune features
John Santos on congas. "It's a little
Latin boogaloo that we baked up. We put
John's conga solo up front and ended
with the head rather than starting with
Me Loose - "Straight funkification.
We change the key toward the end so
that Stefon and I have a different
groove to solo over."
Bear - Another slow tune Charlie
changed around a bit from playing it
with past lineups. Charlie calls this
one a "shuffle ballad".
Things to Come - Harris wrote this
last interlude to close the album. "That's
a great little sample number. Any hip-hop
DJ who doesn't sample this is a fool."