Top positive review
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His best yet
on April 19, 2003
Charlie Hunter's a hard guy to pin down. Sometimes going for the minimalist funk route (his duo outing with Leon Parker), the world music approach (his Bob Marley cover album), and the funk-vocal move (his last), he hasn't always been 100% successful. What he's lost in precision and focus, he's gained in breadth of presentation, and when it all comes together optimally, as it does on Right Now Move, the results are nothing short of spectacular.
This is by far Charlie Hunter's finest album to date. It combines a glorious loose-limbed ease with some (for Hunter) toughness that has sometimes been lacking in the past. The addition of Curtis Fowlkes on trombone and Gregorire Maret on chromatic harmonic add a needed blooziness and grit to the basic jazz/funk proceedings.
There's also a wonderful world-music sensibility to several of the cuts--Latin on "Changui," South African on the classic Hugh Masekela vehicle, "Wade in the Water," and West African on "Mali." These cuts don't necessarily reproduce typical musical moves associated with their world regions as much as they slyly evoke their sensibilities. This is especially true of "Mali," which sounds authentically West African with little actual playing in a Malian mode.
Special mention should be made of John Ellis. He's grown tremendously as a player, especially on bass clarinet. Check out his work on "Le Bateau Irve," where his timbre and fluid playing set the tone for one of the more memorable tunes on the album. But it's all good; no slackers, not let-ups. A continuation of some very fine jazz releases in the first part of 2003.