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It takes two this time around for guitarist Charlie Hunter

of the Oakland Press

Posted: Wednesday, June 8, 2011

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Two is apparently enough for jazz and funk guitarist Charlie Hunter.

Hunter, 34, is on the road accompanied only by drummer Derrek Phillips. Some might consider that limiting, but Hunter says it’s just the opposite.

“You can go so many different places with just two people,” he explains. “You can go in and out of a lot of styles. You can mix and match without feeling that kind of overt jazz sound I have when I’m (playing) with horns. You can still do a lot of that stuff, of course, but just aesthetically the landscape kind of shifts around a little easier in a duo.

“And then it becomes more about what you don’t play than what you do play that becomes important.”

The austerity reflects Hunter’s most recent album, “Public Domain,” a purely solo record that, as the title indicates, is filled with public domain songs such as “Alexander’s Ragtime Band,” “Danny Boy” and “Meet Me in St. Louis.” The songs were chosen by Hunter’s grandfather, who turns 100 this month and, he notes, “heard them the first time they came out.”

“I wanted to do some standards, but didn’t want to do the standard standards, so who better to pick them out than my grandfather?” Hunter notes. “He chose about 50 songs, and I went through those to figure out which ones would withstand the beating I was gonna need to give them, and I went with those. It was a lot of fun and certainly something different, which is important.”

Charlie Hunter performs Thursday, June 9, at the Magic Bag, 22920 Woodward Ave., Ferndale. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20. Call 248-544-3030 or visit www.themagicbag.com.

Web Site: www.themagicbag.com

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