Maybe music wasn’t altogether the healing factor in James Hunter’s return to recording after his wife’s death in 2011. No one can make assumptions in the face of a loss like that.
The strength of Minute by Minute, however, is its ability to convince us it might have played out that way. When the saxes of Lee Badau (baritone) and Damian Hand (tenor) egg on the keyboard strutting of Kyle Koehler and Andrew Kingslow, we are all, if only momentarily, healed from whatever troubles us.
If you have been enjoying Hunter’s classic-soul style since his 2006 breakout album, People Gonna Talk – or earlier – there’s no news here. The tweaked democratic group name notwithstanding, Minute by Minute is pretty much the same wonderful homage you’ve heard on all the other Hunter discs, once again indebted mainly to James Brown, Sam Cooke and Jackie Wilson.
To which we say, “Keep it coming.” This music is, after all, the hip-shaking, head-bobbing, foot-shuffling truth.