Eight-string guitarist Charlie Hunter and electronic drummer Bobby Previte frequently play full-improvisation gigs at the Knitting Factory’s Tap Room in New York when their touring schedules allow. It’s simpatico excursion music that can spin into any direction at a moment’s notice — a funky vibe speeding into rhythm drive with psychedelic dynamics, then turning a corner and sinking into a lyrical ballad.
Recently, the pair invited trumpeter Randy Brecker to join in, and, even though they had never played together before, he swung through the dance grooves and avant motion with ease.
Hunter and Previte have captured their exhilarating magic on “Come In Red Dog, This Is Tango Leader,” released Dec. 3 by Ropeadope Records. “We recorded eight hours of live music, then Bobby edited it down to 50 minutes of songs,” says Hunter, aka Red Dog. “We build songs from the ground up.”
Previte (Tango Leader) says, “We’re like a quartet. Charlie plays the basslines and guitar parts, and my left and right hands with the electronic effects are like two people.”
The CD, priced at $9.95, is available only on the label’s and artists’ Web sites (ropeadope.com, charliehunter.com, bobbyprevite.com), in hip record shop NYCD (on Manhattan’s Upper West Side) and the three Amoeba Records stores in California (in Berkeley, San Francisco and Los Angeles).
“It’s an experiment,” Ropeadope’s Andy Hurwitz says. “Both Charlie and Bobby have significant fan bases who want to hear what they’re up to.”
Hurwitz opted for online-only sales to avoid overloading the retail marketplace with Hunter discs. Earlier this year, Hunter released his “Right Now Move” quartet disc on Ropeadope and the co-op Garage a Trois “Emphasizer” CD on Tone-Cool/Artemis with Stanton Moore, Skerik and Mike Dillon.
“We don’t want to shove Charlie down anyone’s throats,” Hurwitz says. “But we do want artists to be able to express their creativity.”
As if Hunter isn’t busy enough, after touring with Previte and guest saxophonist Greg Osby in October in Europe, he brings his trio Dec. 10-14 to Culver City, Calif.’s Jazz Bakery and Dec. 16-21 to Yoshi’s in Oakland, Calif., then reunites the long-dormant T.J. Kirk project (with guitarists Will Bernard and John Schott and drummer Scott Amendola) for two shows Dec. 26-27 at San Francisco’s Great American Music Hall.
He’ll be back together with the trio to ring in the New Year in Telluride, Col.
Excerpted from the Dec. 13, 2003, issue of Billboard. The full original text of the article is available in the Billboard.com Premium Services section.
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