Exposé Online banner

California Guitar Trio — Pathways
(Discipline DGM9803, 1998, CD)

by Paul Hightower, Published 1999-01-01

Pathways Cover art

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.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 16, 1998 releases

Related artist(s): Bert Lams, Trey Gunn, California Guitar Trio

Latest news

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more

2020-07-12
Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more

2020-06-14
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

The Silverman - Blank for Your Own Message – The secondary title for this release is “A Zen Opera in Seven Parts,” and I will set aside any questions about the appropriateness of the Buddhist reference. If you really want to call it an...  (2009) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues