California Guitar Trio – Andromeda

January 01, 1970

(Inner Knot)


The California Guitar Trio celebrates its 20th anniversary with Andromeda, its tenth
studio album. Rather than bring on the high-profile guest stars for every other
track, the CGT simply does what it does best: create acoustic guitar-based
tapestries that deftly weave folk, prog and every other genre the pickers dig
into a colorful tapestry of melody and harmony. (Stick player Tony Levin and
prog siblings Eric and Julie Slick appear, but their performances are
deliberately muted.)


Making good use of guitar synthesizers gives the former
students of Robert Fripp a wider palette of paints to choose from, whether
adding Fripperesque soundscapes to “Cathedral
Park” or distortion to
“Middle of TX.” But the best part of this record is the same thing that make
all the CGT records worth hearing: the way the guitarists sublimate their
virtuoso tendencies to the tunes themselves, even on tracks like “Improv VIII:
Layered Circulation” and the gorgeous “Improv I” that were made up as they went
along. And they do it without descending into Windham Hill land.


Andromeda is as
accessible as technically dazzling instrumental guitar music gets without
becoming cloying. Steve Vai, take note.


VIII: Layered Circulation,” “Middle of TX,” “Hazardous Z” MICHAEL TOLAND

Leave a Reply