James Hunter - Kick It Around

James Hunter
Kick It Around

(Ruf)

First Appeared at The Music Box, August 2001, Volume 8, #8

Written by John Metzger

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James Hunter has quietly built a career backing up such notable musicians as Van Morrison, Mary Love, Solomon Burke, and Johnnie Johnson. However, like many "for hire" session and tour personnel, Hunter has an undeniable, driving urge to create his own music, which in 1996 yielded his debut Believe What I Say.

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Two years later, Hunter returned to the studio to record his sophomore effort Kick It Around, but the disc didnít see the light of day until earlier this year. Nevertheless, the album is a thoroughly enjoyable set of tunes that mines the R&B sounds of the í50s. As such, Kick It Around is not particularly revelatory, mind-boggling, or ground-breaking, but Hunterís affinity for Sam Cooke and Bobby Bland as well as the influence of his aforementioned association with Morrison help to keep the disc afloat.

Throughout Kick It Around, Hunter keeps things simple, melding tenor and baritone saxophone with his own stinging guitar and allowing these to pour over a bubbling stream of rhythm to create the smoky ambience of a jazz club. The result is a spry, breezy release of summer sun-baked soul, guaranteed to please. starstarstar

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Of Further Interest...

Solomon Burke - Like a Fire

Sam Cooke - The Best of Sam Cooke

James Hunter - The Hard Way

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Ratings

1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!

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Copyright © 2001 The Music Box