Trombonist and Philadelphia native Stafford Hunter first played professionally at age 16. After graduating from the New School Jazz and Contemporary Music Program, he had a stint as a model/actor. He returned to music amassing an impressive resume of tours with legendary jazz musicians McCoy Tyner, Dr. Donald Byrd, Roy Hargrove, The Mingus Big Band and Lester Bowie’s Brass Fantasy. Hunter’s experience isn’t just limited to jazz; he’s also performed with Dionne Warwick, Lauren Hill, Lenny Kravitz, and Amy Winehouse.

In addition to his expansive performing, touring, and recording activities, he’s also received multiple Grammy nominations.

“This list could change depending on the day, week, or minute,” says Hunter, “But, if you ask at this VERY SECOND.”

These are Stafford’s top 5 favorites…at the moment…

Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers, “Free for All” (Blue Note)

“One of my all-time groups. And this is one of my favorite (and different) examples of all of the Messenger bands. As written by the press at the time, it was the most powerful frontline in jazz.”

Woody Shaw, “Lotus Flower”(Enja Records)

“Woody is one of my favorite innovators. This record includes some of my all-time musicians & mentors that I’ve ever personally known. I think this record is one of the best recordings of his working band playing tunes written by all the band members.”

Miles Davis, “ESP”(Columbia)

“One of the most innovative musicians in many eras of jazz. I think this record is one of the greatest examples of this band. It features one of my favorite songs ever… “Iris”. I get choked up every time I listen to this song.”

McCoy Tyner “The Real McCoy” (Blue Note)

“It’s one of those records that I can always listen to. Also, it contains another one of those songs that get me choked up every time I hear it, “‘Search for Peace.’”

Kenny Garrett “Song Book”

“It’s hard to go a day without listening to Kenny. I think this is the best example of all of his bands. I used to hear this band at Sweet Basil in NYC. I think going to hear Kenny is like how folks would describe going to hear John Coltrane back in the day. If you listened intently, you’d leave the club sweating from the sheer intensity of the music.”

“That’s my list… for the moment. If I think of my favorite records, I’d come up with too many!”


Stafford Hunter & Satoshi Inoue – Music of Masters

Stafford Hunter & Satoshi Inoue – Music of Masters 2: Duke, Billy, Monk and Me



Honestly Speaking

Kim Berry joined The Morning Set to talk about this new digital feature “Take Five” on Behind the Mic!

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