February 27, 2007

8-String Guitar: Charlie Hunter [Video]

When you're new to Charlie Hunter and walk into a concert of his, you might be wondering where the bass and organ player are hiding. Charlie Hunter plays a custom-made Novax eight-string guitar through a Leslie-cabinet. He plays bass, organ and solo guitar at the same time. Charlie's main influences were Joe Pass and Tuck Andress, both masters of chord melody guitar.

Here's a short video of Charlie Hunter:

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...


I hope this finds you well! I work in PR with CEG Music in New York and represent several bands and musicians with upcoming performances that I feel fall squarely into your field of interest and expertise. I'm hoping to introduce myself here with the intent of gently suggesting story ideas in the near future and building a good working relationship.

The first upcoming show I would like to call to your attention is a CD release performance by modern jazz guitar virtuoso, Charlie Hunter. He will be appearing at Sullivan Hall, in New York, NY on Feb 19th.

Please, see the release information below and if there are any questions at all that I can answer for you regarding Charlie Hunter or any other CEG bands or events, please do not hesitate to get in touch. We would love to see you mention the show to get the word out to interested readers, and I would be more than happy to facilitate an interview if you are interested - or to provide photos, mp3s, or even concert tickets if you would like to run a contest for your readers.

Thanks for your time and all the best,
Alex Proctor

As a young guitarist growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Charlie Hunter was looking for a way to stand out in the '80s. Htis primary influences were jazz great Joe Pass and the fluid Tuck Andress (of the guitar/vocal duo Tuck Patti), both six-string guitarists who were adept at blending bass notes into their standard guitar melodies to make themselves sound like two musicians at once. But Hunter wanted to take it one step further, and set out to find an instrument on which he could simultaneously function as both a guitarist and a bassist. For his self-titled 1993 debut CD, Hunter played a seven-string guitar for the duality effect, locking down the bottom with drummer Jay Lane and mixing melodically with saxophonist David Ellis. But on his trio's sophomore 1995 release, Bing, Bing, Bing, Hunter unveiled his custom-made Novax eight-string, the guitar that finally allowed him to realize his capacity. Designed by Ralph Novak, the instrument featured special frets and separate signals for its guitar and bass portions. Picking bass notes with his right thumb while fretting them with his left index finger (while at the same time fingerpicking guitar chords and single notes with his right hand's remaining four digits as he frets with his left hand's other three fingers), Hunter achieves the real sound of two-for-one.

"Guitarist Charlie Hunter is a musician on a journey. Never to be satisfied with a ravishingly successful recording career spanning 17 albums, he has continued to explore his own musical tastes, not to pander to his fans, or necessarily in search of something, but merely following the currents of his musical self. Continuing the evolution of his style and sound, Baboon Strength builds convincingly on the preceding Mistico (Fantasy, 2007), drilling down deeper into a groove aesthetic that has seemingly been a magnet to him throughout his career; one that he perhaps overshot more than once. The funk from earlier recordings which, for the most part, he omitted from Mistico, is back. Oh boy, is it back." -- Dave Major, allaboutjazz.com

Alex Proctor