BY MICHAEL TOLAND
Since leaving King Crimson, touch guitarist Trey Gunn has seemingly kept a low profile, preferring a low-key solo career over high-profile guest appearances or bringing his unique playing style to another band. The Waters, They Are Rising, his latest solo slab, is unlikely to poke its head out of the underground waters, but that’s not Gunn’s goal anyway. Instead he’s interested purely in self-expression, filtering his sedate compositions through moody fingerings and atmospheric sustain.
Performed entirely solo (with one exception), Gunn eschews the aggressive riffmongering in which he indulged in Crimson and previous solo platters – “The Beautiful Umbrella,” “The First Return” and the four-part, live “Flood” favor gently taking your hand over grabbing you by the throat. “The Last Wave” and “The Seven Who Were Saved” feature grooves of sorts, but even they stay calm. Gunn kicks the disk off with its most accessible track, a lovely cover of Bob Dylan’s “Not Dark Yet” sung by Dylan Nichole Bandy, easing us into his main agenda.
Don’t look for fingerbusting riffs on The Waters, They Are Rising – instead expect masterful manipulation of mood.
DOWNLOAD: “Flood – parts 1-IV,” “The Last Wave,” “Not Dark Yet”