When musical cultures collide
Pianist Deutsch draws freely from circle of collaborators on ‘Hush Money’
The Boston Globe, November 29, 2009
"There's so much music here, so many styles, yet nothing sounds forced, facile or phony."
- Hush Money Review - AllAboutJazz.com
"Mostly, though, Deutsch’s music sounds like itself. Hush Money is among the most absorbing instrumental discs of this year."
- Hush Money Review - JamBands.com
"Overall, this is a composer's album, rather than a player's, and Deutsch is a talent to watch."
- Hust Money Review - Fort Worth Weekly
"Deutsch's music is likely to be satisfying for those coming to jazz from the jam band or rock community, rather than jazz fans looking for something outside of the traditional norm."
- Hush Money Review - Audiophile Audition
"This is an intriguing disc that implies a certain artistic mindset (Deutsch seems strongly influenced by the '70s work of both Keith Jarrett and Herbie Hancock), then subverts it in a half-dozen entertaining and inspired ways. "
- Hush Money Review - AllMusic.com
On this trio outing, 7- string guitar phenom Charlie Hunter employs keyboardist Erik Deutsch to contribute atmospheric melodies, pads, and solos that take Charlie’s innate sense of groove, irony, and humor to a whole new level. Erik’s secret? Liberal use of Casiotone and organ to evoke not just bygone eras, but the moments within those eras that we all thought we wanted to forget. Charlie’s deceptively simple song forms take on sinister undertones when rendered with the digital cheesiness of Erik’s keyboards. Drummer Tony Mason’s beats are fantastic, and the variation in drum sounds throughout the disc are the perfect foundation for the keyboard mayhem. Been looking for a way to make the unhip hip? With skillful sound selection, melodies simplified to perfection, and first-rate musicianship, Erik and Charlie have already done it. Ernie Rideout, Keyboard Magazine
"Erik Deutsch's first project as Erik Deutsch actually includes a bunch of other folks--and their names are some of the best-known among NY scene insiders. The distinction matters: "Fingerprint" is a masterwork of arrangement, weaving avant-garde threads into a sweet, even moving, mutual reliance."
"Erik Deutsch fingerprint (Sterling Circle): A Boulder transplant and gifted keyboard whiz who graced Charlie Hunter’s latest long player, this Williamsburg-based whiz delivers on his latest CD. More than just jazz, and certainly more than another rootsy jamband dude looking for props from his peers, this effort sits alone atop a genre where music needs chops and players to converge in harmony. Natch."
|CHARLIE HUNTER TRIO|
THE NEW YORK TIMES, July 30, 2007
Ruggedness suits Charlie Hunter, a groove-minded guitarist known for his distinctly ambidextrous technique. On “Mistico,” his first album for the Fantasy label, he rarely reaches for a dazzling run where a juicy riff will do the trick. His main pursuit seems to be the unpretentious logic of a working band and the freedom to do with it what he pleases.
His current partners are Erik Deutsch, on acoustic and Fender Rhodes pianos as well as Casiotone keyboard, and Simon Lott, on drums. Mr. Deutsch is an especially valuable resource here, as a solo commentator and, much more important, an accompanist. On “Special Shirt” he alternates between modish camp and a species of saloon piano, subtly shaping the mood; on “Speakers Built In” he finds real use for some usually ill-advised synthesizer sounds.As usual Mr. Hunter is a homespun marvel, soloing pithily over his own bass lines and chordal midrange. But his proficiency isn’t intended as the focus. “Mistico” often seems purposeful in its evocation of jam bands like the Benevento-Russo Duo and Medeski, Martin & Wood. So while chin stroking would be one welcome answer to the music, dancing — no matter how gracefully — might be even better. NATE CHINEN
Ten fingers and a seven string guitar: CD Review, Charlie Hunter Trio's Mistico
It seems like Charlie Hunter has always played a Novax eight string guitar, but for the new CD he slimmed the neck down and nixed a string.
Even so, those remaining seven strings never sounded better than they do on Mistico (Fantasy Records). Hunter's a major genre jumper, he teamed up with DJ Logic in 2005 to make his Longitude CD, his all-instrumental Bob Marley homage Natty Dread was a career highpoint; his funk outfit TJ Kirk exclusively played reworkings of James Brown, Thelonious Monk, and Roland Kirk tunes; and early on he covered Kurt Cobain's "Come As You Are' on his first Blue Note CD, Bing Bing Bing! He's recorded something like 19 jazz CDs, but I have to admit there's more than a few clunkers in my collection. Even the better ones are a little uneven, but Mistico may be the best of all. And it's easily the most consistent, loaded with great Hunter penned tunes from start to finish. more
It's simple, lo-fi music, and we're told that most tracks were recorded in one or two takes, without any charts. There's only one ballad, "Estranged," with the rest in the main consisting of greasy mid-tempo guitar riffs bounced off fat drum backbeats. Uncluttered, rhythmically and harmonically unsophisticated, but always flowing, and played with total conviction. Simple in the best sense of the word.
It's also post-modern, in the best sense of that word, with Hunter's singular, twisted guitar textures and Erik Deutsch's inventive keyboard sonorities mashed up with a host of rock and electric blues references going back over thirty years. Heliotropic psychedelic flashbacks figure large in the schema, in Deutsch's playing and in Hunter's too, and the leader's 7-string guitar (he's recently had the eighth string removed and the neck shaved down) sometimes sounds more like a revved up Hammond B3 or Mellotron than a string instrument. more
Charlie Hunter, “Mistico” (Fantasy Records)
After three wildly improvisational Groundtruther CDs with drummer Bobby Previte, Charlie Hunter emerges a changed man on “Mistico,” his debut on Concord’s resuscitated Fantasy imprint. The guitar/bass wiz returns to the trio setting of his early-’90s beginnings, and an ax with seven strings in lieu of eight. But this time, a keyboardist (Erik Deutsch mans piano, Fender Rhodes and CasioTone) is onboard along with drummer Simon Lott, and the tone is decidedly rocking, with no trace of Joe Pass within earshot. Hunter’s guitar tone is gnarled, gritty and edgy, all within the bluesy groove vein he’s consistently delivered. Though the session exudes lo-fi nonchalance, new compositional shape-shifting sparks in such tunes as “Speakers Built It” and “Spoken Word.” Blues and funk play significant roles, but thankfully Hunter delivers a slow tune, simply titled “Ballad,” that spotlights his most overlooked trait. Recommended highly.
|Singer-guitarist Erin McKeown astounds at the sold-out Tin Angel|
by A.D. Amorosi (For The Inquirer)
|Charlie Hunter Trio and Christian McBride Band at TD Canada Trust Toronto Jazz Festival|
by Brenton Plourde
"The face of drummer Simon Lott said it all. He and pianist/keyboardist Erik Deutsch are the newest members of The Charlie Hunter Trio after the departure of saxophonist John Ellis and drummer Derek Phillips. Judging by the new sound Lott and Deutsch bring, the new Charlie Hunter Trio could make a case as the new Garage A Trois." more
|A Trumpeter Doesn’t Need Solos to Go With the Mood|
by Nate Chinen (New York Times)
"The trumpeter Ron Miles is no stranger to certain New York jazz audiences. He has worked extensively in ensembles led by the guitarist Bill Frisell, one of his closest peers, and the violinist Jenny Scheinman, with whom he will appear next Monday at Joe’s Pub. " more
|Triangle: 3 Sides of a Question|
Review by Alex Henderson (AllMusic.com)
| ||"Deutsch obviously shares [Art] Lande's enthusiasm for clean-sounding pianists like Evans, Corea, Jarrett, and Jamal, and he brings that graceful sort of lyricism to material..." more|
|County Road X: County Road X|
Review by Farrell Lowe (AllAboutJazz.com)
|"I'm reminded of George Winston or Vince Guaraldi in the piano playing of Erik Deutsch, but I'm equally reminded of the landscapes, knives and glue of the group Radiohead in other keyboard forays. This young man should get more attention from the jazz community. He has the chops, the ears, and the heart to create music...well evidenced on this recording... that embraces the nexus of seemingly disparate cultural realms." more|
|The Miles File |
by David Kirby (Boulder Weekly)
|"Pianist Erik Deutsch and a handful of co-conspirators, notably trumpet majordomo Ron Miles and fellow County Road X-er, reedman Jonathan Stewart, take the leap off Tribute Bridge tonight and Saturday with the staging of Petite Machine, a tribute to Miles Davis' hallmark mid-'60s quintet." more|