Ben Goldberg – Clarinet
Charlie Hunter – Guitar
Ron Miles – Trumpet
Scott Amendola – Drums
By the time this date came around, I felt bad to nearly forgotten about Charlie Hunter trio playing in town at the Mint. By now it’s about bi-annual event that Charlie would bring his group through, once in the summer and once in the winter. I first heard about the show from Charlie’s previous trio member John Ellis a few months back. I wanted to know when John will bring his Double Wide quartet to Los Angeles. He mentioned the possibility that he might open for Charlie. I assumed this was going to happen. Then the devil of the details got in the way. I’d just have to settle with only Charlie’s trio.
Settling isn’t an accurate term here, really. Charlie’s current trio with Erik Deutsch on organ and Tony Mason on drums certainly is a lot of music intensity. I convinced my friends Ravi Carman and Matt Cook, the Highland Parks musical residents to go with me to the first show on Friday night. It’s interesting to hear musicians’ take on Charlie. They both had never seen him before. Matt mentioned that he refused to follow Charlie’s technicality and focus only on hearing the music. I felt that I occasionally have to do that as well. It’s been said by many… that “Charlie is a freak”.
Offstage, I hardly see Charlie exhibits any hints of anything freak-like. He often dubs himself as a “boring suburban dad”, suggesting in the subtext that my ‘inner city life’ is the more exciting? Or at least in the drama-filled sense? Talking about the mundanity of life and immediate reflections of current events is the safest for me to do around him, I think. If anything is freaky about him is his incredible wealth of music knowledge tops with how well well read he is. Ended up it seems, much like his music, I’d stick with simpler conversations instead of slip off into the depth of his thoughts. Yes, I’m a little fearful, but not because of him, but for myself to free fall into something I have no grasp on.
Catching his shows and catching up with the latest gossips becomes mandatory for me. It’s nice to know some heroes to be inspired by.