This week, let's take a look at some videos featuring guitarist Charlie Hunter's latest trio with singer Lucy Woodward and drummer Keita Ogawa, who are coming to St. Louis to perform on Sunday, July 28 at Off Broadway.
Hunter, whose distinctive technique on the seven-string guitar lets him play leads, bass lines and accompaniment more or less simultaneously, has played St. Louis a number of times in recent years with various configurations of musicians. And while he's frequently used the trio format, most often it's been with a saxophonist out front, so bringing in a vocalist instead definitely puts a different spin on his sound.
Hunter and Woodward first connected more than a year ago, when she stepped up to perform on a tour Hunter originally had booked with Mexican singer-songwriter Silvana Estrada, whose visa application was denied at the last minute by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
They've followed up that first tour with more live dates and, in April of this year, an album, Music!Music!Music!, which includes their interpretations of songs from a variety of sources, from Blind Willie Johnson and Bessie Smith to Nina Simone and Terence Trent D’Arby.
Today's videos show them performing most of the material from that album and more, starting in the first video up above with Spoonful," the Willie Dixon tune made famous by Howlin' Wolf.
That performance was recorded in 2018 at Rockwood Music Hall in New York City, as was “Can’t Let Go," the first video.
Next is the Hunter/Woodward version of Screamin' Jay Hawkins' I Put a Spell on You," recorded in February 2018 at the GroundUp Music Festival in Florida.
If you're up for more after that, the last three videos all show full sets of music- the first recorded in April 2019 at Ambrose West in Asheville, NC, the second in February, 2018 at The Acoustic in Bridgeport, CT, and the last one at the Red Light Cafe in Atlanta, also in February 2018.
For more about Charlie Hunter, Lucy Woodward and Music!Music!Music!, read the review of the album from AllAboutJazz.com's Doug Collette; the review of their show in April of this year at Indianapolis' Jazz Kitchen by AAJ's Patrick Burnette; and Woodward and Hunter's joint interview published in April in the Greenville (SC) Journal.
This story appears courtesy of St. Louis Jazz Notes by Dean Minderman.
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