Charlie Hunter: Everybody Has a Plan Until They Get Punched in the Mouth
Besides having some of the best album titles ever (Gentlemen, I Neglected to Inform You You Will Not Be Getting Paid is another), Charlie Hunter happens to be one hell of a jazz guitar player, songwriter and bandleader. Everybody Has a Plan… is his 19th album and one of his most potent. Over 10 mostly original tracks, Hunter, who handles bass duties on his seven-string axe, and his superlative accompanists—drummer Bobby Previte, trombonist Curtis Fowlkes and cornetist Kirk Knuffke—focus primarily on variations on the blues and soul, albeit with greater imagination and improvisational acumen than most. The title track is languorous and airy, as Previte keeps the beat loose and limber while the rest tiptoe around one another until, toward the end, Fowlkes steps out, lobbing cornet punctuations at them at regular intervals. “We Don’t Want Nobody Nobody Sent” is as intriguing and mysterious as its title, striding along casually but determinedly, while “The Guys. Get. Shirts” is The Mar-Keys transplanted to NOLA by way of an alternate universe. Throughout, Hunter’s guitar lines are crisp, devoid of fat and unpredictable, and the band is never less than inventive and crafty.