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Guitarist Charlie Hunter to Play Seattle's Jazz Alley

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Like a snake shedding its skin, guitarist Charlie Hunter creates a new band every time he gets restless and feels a growth spurt coming on.

But no matter what instrumentation or players he assembles, Hunter is dedicated to what he calls “rhythm music," organized around his ever-evolving conception of the groove.

He introduces his latest project on Tuesday when he opens a two-night run at Jazz Alley with a quintet featuring slyly funky drummer Eric Kalb and three horns. Kalb is featured on Hunter's upcoming release, “Gentlemen, I Neglected To Inform You You Will Not Be Getting Paid" (Spire Artist Media), but as the title suggests, recessionary times require Hunter to hire local players for his West Coast gigs.

“As long as you've got the killing drummer, you can take care of business," says Hunter, 42, from his home in Brooklyn. “Eric and I do the lion's share of playing. We could do all this music as a duo, but it's the difference between an awesome line drawing and a painting. The horns add the color."

For Jazz Alley, Hunter's regular trombonist, Alan Ferber, has assembled a tough Seattle crew featuring trombonist Chris Stover, an expert in Afro-Cuban and Afro-Brazilian forms, and the supremely versatile trumpeter Thomas Marriott, whose recent album “Flexicon" is likely to be named among the best releases of 2009.

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