Friends Seen and Unseen
Charlie Hunter - 8-string guitar
John Ellis - Tenor Saxophone, Bass Clarinet, Flute
Derrek Phillips - Drums
produced by Lee Townsend
Recorded and mixed at In the Pocket Studios, Forestville, CA
Engineered by Adam Munoz
Artwork by Andrew Cunningham
The Village Voice
"The Charlie Hunter Trio's Friends Seen and Unseen is lean and slyly funky, with Hunter creating the illusion of a Hammond B3 here and there. The speed of Hunter's chords gives drummer Derrek Phillips plenty of room to thrash around, and his New Orleans parade rhythms are especially bracing on the slinky "Lulu's Crawl," where tenorist John Ellis (who elsewhere occasionally switches to bass clarinet or flute) slap-tongues to telling effect, a fine companion to Hunter's wah-wah. Not surprisingly for a guitarist who got his start behind Michael Franti in the Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy and made his first big splash with a Nirvana cover, Hunter takes advantage of echo and feedback and other rock devices. But not even the staunchest conservative could deny that he plays jazz. In its uninsistent way, Friends Seen and Unseen proves both that the tried-and-true still works and that a little updating never hurts."
Hunter shows off his broad style, talent and taste on Friends Seen and Unseen”… The drum work of Derrek Phillips and saxophone of John Ellis along with the Hunter’s incredible guitar work, it is easy to see why Hunter has been heralded as the freshest thing to happen to jazz in years.”
"Friends boasts a curiously textured charm and kinetic pulse that's hard to resist… It's brimming with conversational exchanges and casually unfolding improvisations”
All About Jazz
”The new recording clearly
stands on its own and proves that the maturing guitarist still has
that special something that keeps the music fresh, vibrant, and enjoyable….
His ability to play parts that are sometimes rhythmically at odds
with each other is more than remarkable. It is frightening. He has
taken what was originally treated as a bit of a novelty and raised
it to a level of art for which there is no real frame of reference.
. . .