Chris Hunter ‎– Early Days

Original Records ‎– ORA 104
Vinyl, LP, Album

Tracklist Hide Credits

A1 Elephants' Tales
Written-By – Nisar Ahmad 'George' Khan*
A2 Too High
Written-By – Stevie Wonder
A3 July 79
Written-By – Mike Westbrook
B1(a) Vocal Fanfare
Written-By – Robin Smith
B1(b) Waltz For Eric
Written-By – Heikki Sarmanto
B2 Forty Two
Written-By – Robin Smith
B3 Prelude To A Kiss
Written-By – Duke Ellington
B4 Happy Endings
Written-By – Brian Godding

Companies, etc.


  • Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone, Soprano SaxophoneChris Hunter
  • Bass Guitar [Wal Fretless, Musicman Stingray]Phil Cranham
  • Drums, Cymbal, Congas, Bongos, Tambourine, Percussion [Kabassa], Chimes [China Shell], Bells [Cantonese], Gong [Wind Gongs]Dave Early
  • Electric GuitarBrian Godding
  • Grand Piano [Yamaha Acoustic, Steinway Concert], Electric Piano [Fender Rhodes]Robin Smith
  • Liner NotesDave Gelly
  • Vocals [Multi-tracked]Jacki Benar*


Recorded by Steve Taylor at CBS Studios, London, February-March 1980

Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Matrix / Runout: W-1 ORA104 A-1
  • Matrix / Runout: W-5 ORA104 B-2



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September 25, 2015

I met Chris Hunter by accident ... I didn’t know who he was as we both stood there in the hotel lobby attempting to wait out the rain, when what we both should have done was take the plunge, gotten wet, and gotten to our respective destinations on time. Nevertheless, Chris had his name stenciled on his sax cases, and then it dawned on me, and I said, “You’re Chris Hunter.” “Yeah,” he says, “Names right there on the case for all to read,” taping one of the cases with the tip of his toe. “No no,” I rambled, “You’re the Chris Hunter who reshot the Bob Dylan album cover putting yourself in his place.” At that the corners of his mouth inched into a smile and said, “Not sure about that, but I’ll take the blame.” “No,” I responded, “that was brilliant, I loved it. Was it the same location?” “Oh no,” said Chris, “that shoot took place in the in east London, on Wapping High Street, in the Warehouse district. The photographer managed to find these lookalike vehicles, the VW Van, the Chevy, and then they sprinkled all this fake snow around, in jumped my wife [Jacki Benar] and it all came out lookin’ pretty close to the real thing.” With that Chris decided to take the plunge, said good evening, and hit the wet street running ... me [?] I headed back to the bar, had a glass of single malt, feeling rather proud that I’d not missed the chance to talk with one of the best contemporary sax-men of all time.

Chris is an odd sort of fellow, in that he’s able to weave his music on the spot, play off of others without a second thought, and all with cutting accuracy. He’s got/had a youthful exuberance here on Early Days that’s astounding, artistic, and demonstrates his range of sound, control of time, and uninhibited nature. Few others have accomplished what he has, and it all seems so easy for him, like loose change in his pocket, forging successful careers in both New York and London, with his work not only spanning every musical genre, but he has the ability to mesh those sounds together, developing something new, something special, something that’s all his ... and in the world of jazz, developing a sound that’s all yours, well, that’s a feat that few have accomplished.

Review by Jenell Kesler