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Songs From The Analog Playground

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (1 Oct. 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Blue Note
  • ASIN: B00005NU6A
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 132,340 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
This is worth the price of admission just for the 'Creole' track he sings/scats/talks on.
If you heard Mos Def's 'Black On both Sides' LP and are familiar with 'Umi Says', you'll know what's going on here.
A future classic to be remembered long after our opinions have been erased from this webpage.
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Format: Audio CD
This album is fantastic, I've got all of Hunters main releases and this one is nearing the top.
Compleatly different from all the rest, Hunter does not fail to impress. Songs from the analog of the playground involves Hunter side by side with other artists adding a great edge to the album.
With the likes of Norah Grey, Mos Def, Theryl Clouet and Kurt Elling.
This albums is a must buy for anyone who has heard of Hunter, or for anyone who hasn't!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x96af1a5c) out of 5 stars 17 reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9690caa0) out of 5 stars Musician's Musician 21 Jan. 2002
By Russell Diederich - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
There are few musicians who can actually make my jaw drop, but Charlie Hunter is definitely one of them. You'll notice that the only instruments in the band are saxophone (John Ellis), percussion (Chris Lovejoy) and drums (Stephen Chopek), and Hunter on guitar. There's no organist and no real bassist, even though you can hear all these instruments on this album. Hunter's 8-string guitar is a meld between the first three strings of a bass and the five top strings of a guitar, and he plays everything else you hear.
Hunter's sound mostly consists of Latin jazz. This album is a mix of both slow and up-tempo songs with both instrumentals and singing. The album opens to a percussion piece with a bossa nova feel. Hunter displays his guitar talent starting with "Rhythm Music Rides Again" backed with some great sax from Ellis. "Mitch Better Have My Bunny" returns to the bossa nova rhythm again. Listen to how Hunter mixes a walking bass line with the guitar rhythm. Hunter has several guest along to add to the mix with their voices. "More Than This" is a slow piece allowing focus to be given to the beautiful voice of Norah Jones. Hunter also does a cover of the classic "Spoonful" with the gravelly voice of Theryl De Clouet. An excellent job. Mos Def and Kurt Elling also appear on this album. Each singer lends their talent on two songs each.
The rest of the band are excellent musicians themselves. Both Lovejoy and Chopek provide an entertaining beat to the music. These two are a joy to listen to, and even more fun to see live. It's amazing what these gentlemen do. If you're a fan of guitar, jazz, or even music, check out Charlie Hunter. If you can see him live, he's well worth the price of admission.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9690cbf0) out of 5 stars Funky, fun, reflective on this "Playground" 21 Oct. 2001
By Chris Kelly - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Charlie Hunter and his latest cadré of east coast musicians have created some fine jazz and funk here. Now ensconced in the New York City scene with two albums already recorded there, the eight-string guitarist has returned with music worthy of his striking career. There are vocals on eight of the thirteen tracks and they work well with the songs most of the time. Introducing vocals after seven albums of pure instrumentals is a bold move and there are rewards.
The record opens with a percussion barrage courtesy Chris Lovejoy and Stephen Chopek and some spirited vocals by Mos Def. Hunter and Co. then jump into the saddle for "Rhythm Music Rides Again" an uptempo latin-tinged rhythm tune that shows off how tight and in good form this group is. Next, The quartet gives up the funk to back Theryl De'Clouet on some strong, impassioned vocals for "Mighty Mighty". Clouet is the best fit vocally for this group, as his tone, natural ability to shift his phrasing to the demands of the song and the ease with which he does this demonstrate.
Charlie and tenor saxophonist John Ellis create some great harmony as they cruise their way through the Gerry Mulligansque melody lines of "Mitch Better Have My Bunny", the brightest and most joyful of this outing, recalling the joie de vivré of Ready, Set...Shango! and Natty Dread.
The breathy delivery Norah Jones gives on "More Than This"(originally a hit in the 80's by Roxy Music)lacks the conviction this cover needed. Hunter's bass line and transitions have their usual perfection, and Ellis gets to show off his chops at light balladry. The track evokes the memory of Jobim when he worked with Sinatra.
"Desert Way" is a musical journey that ends in some interesting rhythm side trips and some abstract, wandering vocals by Kurt Elling. The quartet was clearly looking for a range of styles with their vocalists and they succeeded. The musical result is more mixed, as this track demonstrates. Theryl D. returns with "Spoonful", the second of the three standout vocals on this record. Mos Def gives us a haunting, memorable "Creole" to remember him by in the third of the three strong vocal tracks. Charlie sketches "Sunday Morning" in his usual evocative, timeless fashion. Norah Jones closes Playground with a classy, bittersweet mid-tempo tune that feels like an autumn afternoon walk through an overcast Central Park.
Songs from the Analog Playground has the most dense percussion and rhythm arrangements on a Hunter record to date, but this never overpowers the proceedings. Lovejoy and Chopek put even more soul into these tunes; Hunter was well-advised to apply what he learned working with Leon Parker on Duo. In all, Playground is ambitious and fun - yet also understated and reflective. Hunter's various groups have never lacked for invention or passion, and the talents these musicians bring to this recording fit right in to the eight-string guitarist's vision.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x96dcc714) out of 5 stars I knew he had it in him 23 Oct. 2001
By Clay Hathorn - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I've always liked Charlie Hunter recordings more for their originality than their execution. His catalog is filled by remarkably innovative stuff with his jazz, rock and groove influences all in the right order. The three albums I have (prior to this one), however, left me wanting a little more. 'Natty Dread,' for example, was a cool record but the guitar/sax wankery never held my attention for the whole disc.
That criticism doesn't hold for the downright tasty "Songs from the Analog Playground." This is Charlie Hunter album I've been waiting for. It's not about a jazz guitarist; it's all about the grooze. The guest vocalists add variety and spice, while the percussion keeps it funky. There are a couple of songs I'm not crazy about, but they are overshadowed by such choice cuts as More than This, Spoonful and Percussion Shuffle. All in all, an inventive and entertaining slice of acid jazz that's both fresh and organic.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9690cdac) out of 5 stars Holy S*#t - - This album is incredible! 1 Oct. 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
OK...first of all, the album IS out. It was released on Sept. 25th. I didn't realize it was out either until I saw that contest on MusicToday.com where you can win a jam session with him. So I decided to pick it up and I just gave it a spin in the car on the way home from the store. This is, hands down, Charlies best album yet. By bringing guest vocalists such as Mos Def, the Houseman, Kurt Elling, and Norah Jones into the mix, Charlies musical prowess shines through. To think that this guy is playing all of the melodic lines with his 8 string guitar is just mind boggling. Charlie Hunter is just one of those cats that can connect with you musically in ways no one else can. My suggestion - get off your but and buy this album. You won't be dissapointed!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By Robert Franklin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I just saw Charlie hunter just a few days ago (12/3/01) and he was simply *amazing*. I've seen him before last year at about the same time, and I was impresssed, but this time. amazing. the new singer he has with him is one of the best voices ive heard in quite awhile, especially when it comes to the 'new jazz' scene.
If you like charlie hunter, you'll *love* this cd.
also check out the opening band for Charlie, called the Jacob Fred Jazz odyssey. they were excellent as well.
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