In a culture so besieged by the conflict between art and commerce, it's perhaps natural that the use of pop idioms is disparaged by the critical elite, anxious to protect their canon from dilution. Charlie Hunter has dodged such dismissive darts aimed at his eclectic jazz treatments, which have spanned the musical map from Bob Marley to Brian Wilson to Nirvana, bridging boundaries like a diplomat and liaison for the Blank Generation.
No discussion of Hunter is complete without mention of his prodigious technical proficiency. The thirtysomething former San Francisco Bay Area resident uses a custom-made eight-string bass/guitar with which he plays both rhythm and lead. Hunter picks bass notes with his right thumb, fretting them with his left index finger, while at the same time finger-picking guitar chords and single notes with his right hand's remaining four digits as he frets with his left hand's other three fingers.