A quick look at the numbers reveals that jazz guitarist Charlie Hunter is at least 33 percent more axeman than most. Hunter plays an eight-string -- that's about 15 percent more guitar than even seven-string nü-metal shredders -- simultaneously providing bass and lead on albums like Herbie Hancock drummer Mike Clark's Actual Proof. As a bandleader, Hunter has released an album nearly every year since 1993, seven of them on Blue Note.
While much jazz guitar inevitably smacks of easy listening, Hunter's repertoire has always been as eccentric as his choice of instrument. He cut his teeth playing tunes by James Brown and Thelonious Monk, then moved on to Nirvana ("Come As You Are," introduced by a quick nod to "Teen Spirit") and Steve Miller ("Fly Like an Eagle"). Backed by saxophonists Kenny Brooks and Calder Spanier, he covered Bob Marley's Natty Dread in its entirety. For this tour, the Charlie Hunter Trio comprises drummer Bobby Previte and DJ Logic, and they turn in a jam-till-you-sweat set of hip, modern fusion.