Painting Communion by
Dean Hunter-Cutrona

MONROE, CT, USA: Turtle Hill Productions announces the release of Richard Hunter’s second full-length CD, The Second Act of Free Being. Recorded in 1997, The Second Act of Free Being is the followup to Hunter’s 1996 release The Act of Being Free in One Act, a virtuosic performance that pianist and composer George Winston cites as an influence in his 1997-98 concert tour program notes, and that the Stamford Advocate described as “a solo instrumental tour de force complete with enough virtuosic firepower not only to attract a listener’s interest but to keep it."

        Eleven of the fourteen pieces on The Second Act of Free Being are new compositions by Hunter. The CD’s moods range from the jazzy “How Long Have I Loved You” to the striking 2-part counterpoint of “Bela’s World,” whose quiet, eerie tone evokes Bela Bartok’s “night music,” the Aaron Copland-esque sound of “Requiem,” and a blistering, rocking workout on the traditional song “Billy The Kid.” The CD also includes two duets with Jerome Harris (of jazz saxophone giant Sonny Rollins’s band) on guitar, and a duet with San Francisco-based vocalist Susan Cutrona on a slow, wrenching performance of Bob Dylan’s “It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes A Train to Cry” that is accompanied only by Hunter’s harmonica.

        "The response to the first CD from critics and the public was terrific,” Hunter says. “I made the pieces bigger and more adventurous on this one, and as a player I pushed the envelope of what’s do-able on the harmonica even farther than I did on the first CD. One thing that hasn’t changed,” Hunter adds, “is that there are no overdubs. At every point in time you’re hearing exactly one musician playing one harmonica. I’m sure that people will be amazed when they hear some of the things that can be done on a solo harmonica."

        Hunter is the author of Jazz Harp (Oak Publications, NYC, 1980), a method for jazz and rock harmonica players that is widely regarded as the best book ever written for intermediate to advanced level players. The book, now in its sixth printing, has sold over 20,000 copies worldwide, and has been translated into several foreign languages, including Japanese. Hunter’s credits as a studio musician include harmonica for the soundtrack of John Sayles’s film City of Hope, as well as hundreds of recording sessions for television, major and small label releases, and commercial jingles. Hunter was a featured performer at the 1997 Conference of the Society for the Preservation and Advancement of the Harmonica (SPAH).

        The Second Act of Free Being was produced by Hunter and Charles Eller, the award-winning engineer for The Act of Being Free in One Act. The Second Act of Free Being is available from Turtle Hill Productions, PO Box 651, Monroe, CT 06468-0651, (203)459-9939 ( Fans can also read about the CD and download audio samples from Hunter’s website at