Charlie Hunter has another indescribably cool band, CD | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Charlie Hunter has another indescribably cool band, CD

Tim Parsons

Don’t try to get esoteric with Charlie Hunter.

The brilliantly singular-styled electric guitarist seems almost annoyed with an inquiry about the complexities of his craft. When asked about the 12-note system of jazz, he said, “I really don’t care. It’s all ultimately incredibly unhelpful and kind of circular. It doesn’t involve the community at large. It’s insular and it ultimately leads to alienating intelligent, intellectual nonmusicians who want to enjoy being part of a music culture and don’t really want to deal with a science project.”

Sheesh. OK. How would you describe your music?

“My definition is entirely different than a hundred other people’s definition and it’s only personal to me. It’s meaningless to anyone else.”

Do you call it jazz? “I wouldn’t care. I’m not saying that to be flip at all. It’s just that it’s 2007 and it just doesn’t matter anymore.”

It is what it is. And Hunter’s album, “Mistico,” released July 31 is very cool.

In Claypoolian fashion, Hunter has produced an album or two every year since 1993 and with numerous musical projects, perhaps the best known being Garage a Trois.

“I am always looking to put myself in positions where I am being challenged,” he said.

His latest band is a trio with Simon Lott on drums and Erik Deutsch on piano, Fender Rhodes and CasioTone. Hunter, of course, plays guitar and bass on his latest ax, an eight string modified to a seven string.

“I was into playing a little drums and liked listening to the Hammond organ and it all kind of came together slowly but surely, and it’s still coming together.”

Hunter removed the highest string on his guitar.

“The farther I get away from regular guitar and bass, the more personal the style and music gets because technically it’s a pretty demanding instrument,” he said.

Mistico maintains a steady groove throughout and Hunter is correct to say putting a tag on it would be a disservice. It was recorded on tape, which gives it an old, gnarly sound.

“I wanted to have that vibe where it sounds like one big instrument,” he said.

The music is easy to listen to and hard to describe. It is what it is.


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