Have a Nice Trip
Count yourself fortunate to be in possession of what will surely be history in the making. This recording session has been put together with some of the most talented players on either coast (and all points in-between). Trumpeters Oscar Brashear and Ron Stout, saxophonist Chuck Manning, Trombonist Jacques Voyamont, guitarist Phil Upchurch, Bassists Henry 'The Skipper' Franklin & Kevin O'Neal, Drummers Raymond Pounds & Aaron Serfaty and percussionist Cassio Duarte all combine in different groupings under pianist Todd Hunter's leadership to express, as a single unit the sounds of JAZZ. This collection contains the very familiar Comin' Home Baby. Prepared with a more upbeat arrangement than I'm used to hearing and yet Oscar performs it expertly, Chuck, Phil, The Skipper and Raymond. There are seven originals By Todd and the standard Autumn Leaves. The originals are a pleasant surprise because Todd is a fine composer in addition to being a wonderful pianist and human being. In order of play is the #2 tune Power Of The Fifth, which adds to the band Trombonist Jacques Voyamont and percussionist Cassio Duarte in an excellent example of the power of the fifth interval in the left hand of the pianist Todd Hunter. In Car Tune Todd puts the funk into medium gear for a very catchy tune that tends to stick in one's head. Originally written for his son William T. Hunter V, this one stands alone for it's rambunctious ness. Gene Harris would be proud. Storybook Time introduces the other trumpet master in the person of Ron Stout, Bassist Kevin O'Neal, and drummer Aaron Serfaty. Who, with saxophonist Chuck manning proceed to embark on a waltz that is pure joy to listen to. On the title track Have A Nice Trip, Oscar returns with Jacques and Raymond to romp exquisitely through the chart as though they are having a nice trip. They are. El Diablo Pequeno brings back Ron, Kevin, Aaron and Cassio to play like demons on a song whose title translates into 'The Little Devil'. Enter the standard Autumn Leaves with Oscar playing the muted trumpet. Chuck's tenor work here is more commendable as it gives way to Phil who plays it straight ahead and right down the middle. Meanwhile, The Skipper and Raymond keep everyone moving to a nice close. Todd breaks down to the trio of Kevin and Aaron for Hannah's Song. It turns out to be a nice change of pace ballad that truly showcases Todd's ability as a pianist. The beloved Reverend Doctor O. C. Smith is the inspiration and spirit behind And So It Is. Which highlights the performances of Ron, Chuck, Kevin Aaron and Cassio on the tune that I must confess is my personal favorite. Listen and enjoy, as I have, to this addition to the recorded works of some masterful musicians who play as one under the leadership of Mr. Todd Hunter. James Janisse - Program Host Radio Station K -Jazz.