Featuring a new crew since 2006’s Copperopolis, this lineup of the Charlie Hunter Trio includes Simon Lott on drums and Erik Deutsch on piano and Fender Rhodes (and occasionally a CasioTone for effect), while Hunter works the frets on his 7-string guitar. The trio sounds loose and free on these 10 Hunter compositions and the entire recording has a warm and live-in-the-studio feel. Even the production tweaks and scattered ambient noises sound organic. This is just their first recording as a unit, yet these three inventive musicians have no problem hitting a groove — Lott and Deutsch are consistently superb throughout. An innovative and singular guitar player with a long string of solid releases and fascinating collaborations reaching back to 1993, Hunter continues to stretch his imagination with Mistico, producing a soulful hybrid of many styles, including stuttering funk (“Speakers Built In”), slinky soul (“Wizard Sleeve”), flat-out rock (“Balls”), and atmospheric, bluesy ballads (“Estranged,” “Mistico”). It’s yet another adventurous and enjoyable set by Charlie Hunter and company.