Charlie Hunter 2 Interview

(Originally aired on March 14, 2013)

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 with 3 bass strings and 4 treble strings.

Since his 1993 debut with the Charlie Hunter Trio, the composer and improviser has recorded 18 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 explains his musical concepts, describes his 7-string, and talks about recording his new album, Not Getting Behind Is The New Getting Ahead, which he cut with drummer Scott Amendola. We’ll hear selections from Not Getting Behind throughout the interview.