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Anton Hunter Trio
Anton Hunter Trio
Efpi
***1/2 
Turned down low, with a strong improv sensibility and a resemblance to the soundscapes of Bill Frisell on the surface, you could be mistaken and think this record came out of the New York downtown scene at a much earlier stage of Frisell’s career. Instead Hunter, who is best known as a key member of Manchester’s groundbreaking Beats & Pieces big band, is here in a fascinatingly alert trio with his brother, drummer Johnny Hunter, and bassist James Adolpho and together they gently probe and bypass altogether the Frisell modus operandi. Just five tracks long and a shade under three quarters of an hour in duration, you’ve got to listen hard. Yet the quiet passages have a page turner quality to them and yield their own rewards. With a slight electronic wash enhancing the guitar sound at times the album has a human quality despite its modernity (more a nylon string sound than steel in essence and even that’s deceptive). Fans of Jonny Greenwood soundtracks will I’d hazard a guess warm to the subdued demeanour the trio projects. The improvising built around slowly enfolding melodies and subtle key changes is plugged into scampering rhythms and scintillating off beats, and on ‘Tyven’ Johnny Hunter really gets to the core of the Tony Oxley-like percussion tradition deep within the DNA of much British early-1970s free improv. The earlier ‘Aire’, with its eery stillness, just another example of this fine trio’s very own particular and prevailing sound. SG