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.
Glenn Branca RIP – Experimental guitarist and composer Glenn Branca has died at the age of 69. He was known for compositions featuring large ensembles of guitars, and for the use of feedback. He founded his band Theoretical Girls in the mid-70s as an art-punk answer to what he saw as the increasing commercialization of punk music. His compositions were highly influential, with such figures as David Bowie, Thurston Moore, and John Lurie among his fans. » Read more
OBEY Convention XI Set for May 24-28 in Halifax – As the 2018 festival season rapidly approaches, we’d like you to be aware of a real treasure of diverse and creative music that’s going to take place in Halifax, Nova Scotia, next month. The OBEY Convention is on its 11th outing, and features a wide range of artists from around the world. From avant-industrial noise to experimental takes on Classical Chinese music, from chamber jazz to doom metal, from ambient soundscapes to Canadian First Nations drumming, you’d be hard pressed to find a festival with more variety in sound anywhere in the world. » Read more
Close to the Rain Festival in Bergen Announces Lineup – Now in its second year, the Close to the Rain Festival of progressive music is scheduled to take place in Bergen, Norway, on June 7 - 9. They've got an amazing slate of bands lined up, including such powerhouses as Anekdoten, Major Parkinson, Arabs in Aspic, Tusmørke, and many more. » Read more
Seaprog 2018 Artist Announcements Raise Festival's Profile – Seattle's Seaprog festival has been going since 2013, and the 2018 edition features a slate of artists that's sure to bring more attention to the event. Cheer-Accident, Bubblemath, and Free Salamander Exhibit are in the first round announcement of performers. In keeping with their tradition of focusing on regional artists, they will also present a number of artists from Washington and Oregon. [Edit: Just added: Inner Ear Brigade] » Read more