California Guitar Trio — Pathways
(Discipline DGM9803, 1998, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 1999-01-01
The third release from California Guitar Trio finds them on familiar ground and also stretching out a bit. Familiarity is served up on tracks where the trademark CGT formula is in full evidence: the sinewy interweaving of disparate, yet harmonious guitar parts to create a monster string fugue, all served up on those wonderful Somogyi acoustics. Of these familiar cuts “Arroyo”, the title track, and Hideo Moriya's “Kaleidoscope” worked best for me, probably because of the colorful addition of sax and Trey Gunn's Warr guitar which lent them a broader palette of tonal color. Over half of the record, however, is given up to arrangements and adaptations. Other than Mason Williams' “Classical Gas”, Stan Funicelli's “Leap”, and the hyper kinetic “Misirlou”, the bulk of these are Bert Lamm's classical readings of Bach, Barber, and Beethoven. The great Ludwig Van is in fact given three slots on the CD and on the two movements of the “Moonlight Sonata” suite we see why Robert Fripp thinks Bert Lams is one of the pre-eminent arrangers of classical music for the guitar today. What Lams achieves goes way beyond a superb technical reading and inventive arrangement (which it is). He actually manages to infuse the music with all of the passion and intensity so often lacking from any performance of Beethoven. This alone for me elevates the CGT above being just a gimmick band and makes them worthy of the attention they've earned. I highly recommend Pathways, especially for students of the guitar and fans of Beethoven.
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more