Charlie Hunter 1 Interview

(Originally aired on January 28, 2010)

Jazz guitarist and groove master Charlie Hunter plays a guitar of his own design that allows him to simultaneously play wicked bass lines, comp chords and unleash soulful solos. On his early albums, he used an 8-string guitar; he now has migrated to a custom 7-string instrument.

Since his 1993 debut with the Charlie Hunter Trio, the composer and improviser has recorded nearly 20 albums and earned accolades from fans, press and fellow musicians. Watching Hunter play live or in YouTube videos, one quickly becomes incredulous: How can a single player perform several tasks so effortlessly? Listen a little longer and it becomes clear — this is not a parlor trick. Rather, Hunter is expressing music the way he hears it, which happens to include a huge pitch range and more timbral colors than most guitarists are content with.

In our exclusive interview, Hunter talks about recording his new album, Gentlemen, I Neglected To Inform You You Will Not Be Getting Paid, which he recorded live to analog tape, and explains his unique musical concepts. We’ll hear tunes from Gentlemen and discover why Hunter switched from 8-string to 7-string guitar.