Desert Island Jazz
Charlie Hunter (2001)

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Hunter was born in Rhode Island. When he was four his mom packed him and his younger sister in an old yellow school bus and headed west. After several years living on a commune in Mendocino County they settled in Berkeley, California. Hunter graduated from Berkeley High School and took lessons from famed guitar teacher Joe Satriani. At eighteen he moved to Paris. Returning to the Bay area, Hunter played a seven-string guitar and organ in Michael Franti's political rap group, The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy. In 1992, they were one of the opening acts for U2's Zoo TV Tour.

Since the debut of his self-titled Charlie Hunter Trio in 1993, Charlie Hunter has recorded 17 albums. He co-founded Garage A Trois, a jazz fusion band with Stanton Moore and Skerik. He has collaborated with Bobby Previte for an ongoing project entitled "Groundtruther." He also recorded and toured for Bobby Previte's The Coalition of the Willing in 2006. He appears on acclaimed jazz bassist Christian McBride's Live At Tonic. On both The Coalition of the Willing and Live at Tonic he plays 6-string guitars. His earliest known released recording without unusual guitars is as a guest basest for the band Sweet Potato from California's East Bay. The song "Crankshaft" can be found on the Ubiquity Records compilation Mo Cookin from 1994 and the song "Monkey Wrench" can be found on the Ubiquity Records compilation Still Cookin from 1995. He also plays guitar on the track "Me and Chuck" from the Les Claypool and the Holy Mackerel album, Highball with the Devil, released in 1996.

His current trio as of Summer 2007 includes New York keyboardist Erik Deutsch and New York/New Orleans drummer Simon Lott. This trio has recorded the July, 2007 Fantasy release Mistico. Hunter believes in free trade of his live shows. Live shows can be streamed or downloaded in various formats on archive.org.

Instruments and equipment
Hunter plays a custom-made, eight-string guitar made by luthier Ralph Novak of Novax Guitars. He plays the lead guitar on the top five strings (tuned ADGBe) and bass guitar (tuned EAD) on the bottom three strings simultaneously. With the addition of a Hughes & Kettner Tube Rotosphere (a Leslie rotary speaker simulator), his unique style produces a sound similar to that of a Hammond organ -- an instrument he set out to imitate.

In 2006, Hunter removed the top guitar string and had the neck of his guitar reworked and now plays a modified 7-string on the formerly-8 string body. Hunter has mentioned that because of his small hands, he had to move out of position to make use of the 8th string and thus wasn't using it much. A change in Hunter's style away from the organ sound into a more blues and distortion based sound happened at the same time. After removing the 8th string, Hunter retuned all of the strings up a half-step: F-Bflat-Eflat on the bass and Bflat-Eflat-Aflat-C on the guitar.
Pick Artist Album Song Label
# 1 Roland Kirk Domino Domino (Verve)
# 2 John Coltrane Giant Steps Giant Steps (Atlantic)
# 3 Astor Piazzolla Tango: Zero Hour Tanguedia III (Pangaea)
# 4 Sabu Martinez, featuring Arsenio Rodriguez Palo Congo El Cumbanchero (Blue Note)
# 5 Albert King The Very Best of Albert King Blues Power (Rhino)
# 6 Wes Montgomery Boss Guitar The Trick Bag (OJC)
# 7 Marisa Monte Rose and Charcoal (Verde Anil Amarelo Cor de Rosa e Carv„o) Esta Melodie (Blue Note)
# 8 Thelonious Monk Criss Cross Criss Cross (Columbia)
         
Book Madison Smartt Bell, "Masters of the Crossroads"
         
Luxury Item A lounge chair to relax in during the day and to sleep in at night
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