|Charlie Hunter, Chinna Smith and Ernest Ranglin — Earth Tones (2005)|
© Photo credit: Needham, Gerrard
Charlie Hunter, Chinna Smith, Ernest Ranglin — Earth Tones
Location: Berkeley, California/Jamaica
Album release: November 29, 2005
Record Label: Green Streets Ent/Bread Fruit Music
1. Long Bay (5:52)
2. What I Am (9:18)
3. Mestre' Tata (4:16)
4. I've Got The Handle (6:48)
5. One Foundation (5:10)
6. Fade Away (7:27)
7. Passion Dance (6:34)
8. Rivers of Babylon (8:33)
9. Island In The Sun (3:58)
• Charlie Hunter - 8-string guitar
• Earl "Chinna" Smith - acoustic guitar
• Ernest Ranglin - electric guitar
• Shawn Pelton - drums and programming
• Manolo Badrena - percussion
• Manolo Badrena Percussion
• Edie Brickell Composer
• Brenton Dowe Composer
• Dan Ehrlich Audio Engineer, Editing
• Jason Groucott Mixing
• Charlie Hunter Composer, Guitar (8 String), Primary Artist
• Brian Jahn Design, Executive Producer, Photography
• Kennan Keating Engineer
• Lord Burgess Composer
• Trevor McNaughton Composer
• Shawn Pelton Drums, Programming
• Ernest Ranglin Guitar (Electric), Primary Artist
• Leroy Sibbles Composer
• Chinna Smith Primary Artist
• Earl "Chinna" Smith Composer, Guitar (Acoustic)
• Peter Tosh Composer
• McCoy Tyner Composer
¶ This album is a good find for Hunter fans. It is his first recording with other guitarists since T.J. Kirk and, although I would recommend those albums (2 studio, 1 live) over this one, this is classic Hunter. The Earth Tones band includes hunter on the 8-string, the other two on guitar (Chinna Smith on acoustic), and drums and bass. The feel is mostly Caribbean, but jazz/funk/jam fans will be happy with Hunter's new sound.
¶ Warning: The first release of this album contains a small defect. It sounds like a small scratch on track two. Don't bother returning the cd b/c the same thing will come back in the mail. The skip is almost unnoticeable, but be warned.
¶ This album is a must for fans. For those just discovering Hunter's music, I recommend "Friends Seen and Unseen" and "Right Now Move." All of his albums are good, but these have been my favorite so far. "Copperopolis" is worth checking out as well if you want to hear CH rock out.
Birth name: Charlie Hunter
Born: May 23, 1967, Berkeley, California, U.S.
¶ 8-string guitar/bass hybrid, custom built by Ralph Novak
¶ Hunter was also an inaugural member of the Independent Music Awards' judging panel to support independent artists.
¶ Charlie Hunter is represented by Tree Lawn Artists, Inc.
¶ Hunter currently plays a custom-made, seven-string guitar made by Jeff Traugott. Previously, Hunter played a custom-made, eight-string guitar made by luthier Ralph Novak of Novax Guitars. He plays the lead guitar on the top five strings (tuned ADGBe) and bass guitar (tuned EAD) on the bottom three strings simultaneously. With the addition of a Hughes & Kettner Tube Rotosphere (a Leslie rotary speaker simulator), his unique style produces a sound similar to that of a Hammond organ -- an instrument he set out to imitate.
¶ In 2006, Hunter removed the top guitar string and had the neck of his guitar reworked and now plays a modified 7-string on the formerly-8 string body. Hunter has mentioned that because of his small hands, he had to move out of position to make use of the 8th string and thus wasn't using it much. A change in Hunter's style away from the organ sound into a more blues and distortion based sound happened at the same time. After removing the 8th string, Hunter retuned all of the strings up a half step: F-A#-D# on the bass and A#-D#-G#-C on the guitar. As of 2008, he had once again retuned up another whole step: G-C-F on the bass and C-F-A#-D on the guitar.
¶ He has recently begun using Headstrong amps. Headstrong is based out of Santa Cruz, California.
Review by Sean Westergaard
¶ It's been nearly a decade since Charlie Hunter collaborated with other guitarists (the great T.J. Kirk band of the mid-'90s). Hunter got together with legendary Jamaican guitarists Ernest Ranglin and Chinna Smith for an easygoing set of (mostly) covers that largely tread the kind of Jamaican-flavored jazz that Ranglin's been known for for years. There are some reggae and dub elements here and there, but you'd be hard-pressed to call it a reggae album. Recorded with very few overdubs, the cooperative arrangements are perfect, with plenty of space for everyone and the players almost finishing each other's thoughts. Hunter's guitar always has a bit of Leslie effect on it (remember, he's throwing down the basslines at the same time!), Chinna sticks to acoustic, and Ranglin plays with his trademark clean electric sound, so it's really easy to pick out who's doing what and compare their different styles. Ranglin's fluid melodic lines contrast nicely with Smith, who makes some surprising yet wonderful note choices and wild intervalic leaps in his solos. Sharing the spotlight, there's less of Hunter's soloing than on his "proper" albums, but his playing is always fantastic and he lays down some big fat basslines. Drummer Shawn Pelton is ultra-supportive on drums and contributes tasteful drum programming that sometimes bubbles up from underneath, while session percussionist Manolo Badrena adds just the right accents. This album has the casual feel of a one-off affair, but that certainly doesn't mean it's any less enjoyable than Hunter's myriad other projects. In fact, this would have to rank right up there with his best, although one wouldn't necessarily consider this a Charlie Hunter project; it's a true collaboration. Regardless, putting these guys together was a stroke of genius. ~ Sean Westergaard, All Music Guide
By Bill Milkowski
¶ Groovemeister Charlie Hunter joins Jamaican guitarists legends Earl "Chinna" Smith and Ernest Ranglin for a spirited set that blends reggae flavor with dub aesthetics, courtesy of Saturday Night Live drummer Shawn Pelton's adventurous echo and looping effects triggered from his kit. Anchored by the tight hookup between Hunter's deeply grooving bass lines and Pelton's insistent, slamming backbeats, Earth Tones also features the coloristic percussion work of former Weather Reporter Manolo Badrena.
Smith's nylon-string acoustic guitar provides a nice tonal contrast to Hunter's nasty tremelo-effected chordal work on "Long Bay," "I've Got the Handle" and a cover of Eddie Brickell's "What I Am." Ranglin's rapid-fire single note flurries on electric guitar spice up tracks like Hunter's "Mestre' Tata" and an infectious one-drop interpretation of McCoy Tyner's "Passion Dance," while he reveals his more lyrical side on the melodic reggae anthem "Rivers of Babylon." Hunter, who had previously revealed his love of reggae on his 1997 Blue Note album Natty Dread, digs deeper here.
© Photo credit: Andrew MacNaughtan © Photo credit: Jimmy Katz © Photo credit: Clay Patrick McBride © Photo credit: Jonbern/Charlie Hunter performs at the Bennett Alliance Music Fest in Rochester, NY (July 21, 2007)
|Charlie Hunter, Chinna Smith and Ernest Ranglin — Earth Tones (2005)|
Joe Walsh — Songs For A Dying Planet
Peter Cat Recording Co.
Tigercats — Pig City
Jesca Hoop — Stonechild
Ø (MIKA VAINIO) — ARC 1
ALBUM COVERS X.
Za Zelenou liškou 140 00 Praha 4, CZE