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  • Jonathan Widran

McCLENTY HUNTER, JR., The Groove Hunter

After keeping the scene hopping as one of NYC’s most inventive drummers for a decade, McClenty Hunter. Jr – perhaps best known for his three year stint with Kenny Garrett’s Grammy nominated quintet – finally steps out with emphatic bursts of traditional jazz and contemporary jazz/funk on his perfectly titled debut The Groove Hunter.

Co-produced with guitarist Dave Stryker, McClenty and his ensemble (featuring pianist Eric Reed) save most of their polyrhythmic, higher octane dazzle for twists on classics by Herbie Nichols, Wayne Shorter, John Coltrane and Stevie Wonder. Opening a deeper side of his immense artistry, he showcases his more soulful and lyrical side on his four original ballads and a tasteful tribute to his mentor, Grady Tate, on the bluesy “Sack Full of Dreams.”