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Charlie Hunter Trio – Friends Seen and Unseen

I have a confession to make. I don’t know the first thing about music. Okay, that’s a slight exaggeration. I know the first thing. I know a guitar from a bass, and a saxophone from a flute. But when handed a “contemporary jazz” record to review, I have no idea where to begin.


I know–there can’t be much on earth that sounds more boring than the title “contemporary jazz.” You’ll probably stop right here, anyway–jazz isn’t really our forte around here. But would you be more interested if I told you that Charlie Hunter plays an 8-string guitar? Yes, 8 strings, so he can simultaneously play bass lines, rhythm riffs and melodic leads. At times, you won’t be able to believe that it’s only one guitarist. You can almost hear echoes of Hendrix.

And “trio” doesn’t mean that it’s always the same three instruments, either. John Ellis plays tenor sax, bass clarinet, and flute to compliment Charlie’s guitar and Derek Phillips‘ drums.

Oh, and Charlie’s first record was released on Les Claypool’s label. Yes, the one from Primus.

Interested yet? The music on this album ranges from funky-sexy to lazy-cool, and had me dancing in my seat at times. Give it a try–you might like it.


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