Getting The Ax by ProQuest


A: Yeah, I mean, I don't do that anymore; that sound, I can't stand it. I did it enough and I don't ever want to hear it again {laughing}. It's just that that's what I had to emulate in terms of doing both parts, you know? The bass and the treble parts. So that's kind of where it came out of it, but obviously I've kind of evolved into my own thing now. What's important is getting {the music} to move, you know?A: I think that I enjoy the idea of thinking vertically-improvising vertically-instead of in a linear way, which is great, but that's jazz. Most of it is that linear improvisation thing. Early jazz is more vertical, kind of, and I like the idea of a rhythm'n'blues feel, but with the improvisor's mentality. None of it's right or wrong: It's just aesthetic, you know?That music is not my thing. I don't really consider it music for music's sake. It's more music for the party's sake. It's not party music like something great like Chuck Brown or Trouble Funk or Plena Libre or some great bands that are just these consummate, incredible band's bands. It's more music that you can tune out while you hang out with your friends and do your various substances.

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									music                                                                                                                                                         BY matt mumau

Getting                                                 Y
                                                               ou’d think after Cheap Trick devised the guitars      Times, Hunter reflected on his current and past musi-
                                                               that form its menagerie of eclectic instruments       cal glories.
                                                               there wouldn’t be much ground left to cover in
                                                        terms of devising strange axes. Jazz guitarist Charlie

The Ax
                                                                                                                     Q: Baboon Strength seems to be a brighter album as op-
                                                        Hunter, however, has ventured where few pickers              posed to Mistico. Was that an intentional decision?
                                                        have gone before. Thanks to his custom-made Novax
                                                        seven-string, a hybrid of three bass strings and four        a: I guess. It’s definitely more songwritery, and I think
                                                        standard guitar strings, Hunter can craft an acutely         Mistico tends more to that jazzy kind of style. This one
Jazz guitarist Charlie Hunter makes a                   signature sound in line with the feeling of an organ.        probably doesn’t as much.
Thursday stop at the Westcott Nation                       Raised since age 4 in the San Francisco music scene,
                                                        Hunter, 41, has spent his career studying jazz and           Q: Did you use the same band as your backing trio on
                                                        improvisation, notably under the tutelage of formidable      this album?
                                                        ax man Joe Satriani during Hunter’s high school years.
                                                        The guitarist has since collaborated with musicians as       a: It’s similar. It’s the same organ player {Eric Deutsch},
                                                        diverse as Soulive, Mos Def and Norah Jones, released        but I have a different drummer: Tony Mason is on Baboon
                                                        a 1997 work that covered Bob Marley’s Natty Dread            Strength. He just is a great pocket drummer, like one of
                                                        on the Blue Note label and collaborated with drummer         the best, and that’s kind of really what {my} music is
                                                        Bobby Previte on the ongoing, highly improvisational         about, you know? So that was a big part of why.
                                                        Groundtruther project; Altitude (Thirsty Ear), the series’
                                                        latest installment, features John Medeski of Medeski,        Q: On these two albums it seems like you found a par-
                                                        Martin and Wood in the mix.                                  ticular style or voice. Do you feel that’s true?
                                                           Baboon Strength (Spire Artist Media), Hunter’s 17th
                                                        studio album, follows along the similar lines of his         a: Yeah, you’re always trying to go for something, and
                                                        2007 solo effort Mistico (Fantasy), in that it hones in      you kind of slowly create your own aesthetic. Those two
                                                        on a boutique, harmony-centric set of 
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