Fat Mama Alum Joins New Charlie Hunter Trio
John Ellis and Derrek Phillips performed their final gig as part of the Charlie Hunter Trio on May 6 in Las Vegas, as Hunter pursues a new direction with the band. The next drummer will be Simon Lott, a former New Orleans-based player who relocated to New York City last year. As for the third member, Hunter will move away from the brass, as rather than adding a foil on sax, he has enlisted Erik Deutsch on keys. Deutsch, who co-founded Fat Mama (winner of the 2000 New Groove Jammy which also featured drummer Joe Russo), also has gigged with County Road X, Triangle and Liza. Hunter is currently on the road with Bobby Previte’s Coalition of the Willing along with Marco Benevento and Skerik but the Trio will begin a brief tour on June 6 at Baltimores 8 × 10 Club.