California Guitar Trio — Pathways
(Discipline DGM9803, 1998, CD)
by Paul Hightower, 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.
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more
Neil Peart RIP – One of rock music's defining drummers has died at the age of 67. Neil Peart's work with Rush provided one of the templates for percussion in rock, and he certainly ranks in the top ten most influential drummers of the 20th Century. Peart retired from playing in 2015 due to health issues, and succumbed to brain cancer on January 7, 2020. » Read more