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California Guitar Trio

Crossover Prog

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California Guitar Trio Rocks the West  album cover
3.63 | 16 ratings | 3 reviews | 6% 5 stars

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Live, released in 2000

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Scramble (2:22)
2. Symphony No 9 (Beethoven) (8:58)
3. Bohemian rhapsody (Queen) (5:46)
4. Caravan Moroccan roll (with drum solo) (3:34)
5. Punta Patri (4:19)
6. Waters of Eden (4:27)
7. Blue-eyed monkey (2:00)
8. Pathways (4:58)
9. Pictures at an exhibition / Hut of Baba Yaga / The great gate of Kiev (M.Mussorgsky) (3:58)
10. Happy time in Funtown (3:16)
11. Misirlou (2:04)
12. Rokudan (1:50)
13. Blockhead (4:38)

Total Time: 52:10

Line-up / Musicians

- Bert Lams / guitars
- Hideyo Moriya / guitars
- Paul Richards / guitars

+ Bill Janssen / drums
- Tony Levin / stick, bass

Releases information

Cd. Discipline Global Mobile DGM 0003

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to bhikkhu for the last updates
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CALIFORNIA GUITAR TRIO Rocks the West ratings distribution

(16 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(6%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(62%)
Good, but non-essential (31%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

CALIFORNIA GUITAR TRIO Rocks the West reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by bhikkhu
4 stars This is a live outing, and that is exactly how I discovered them. A friend wanted to go to show at a particularly good local venue. Another friend (guitar player/singer/songwriter) suggested we go to see a band I had never heard of, The California Guitar Trio. I had now Idea what I was about to witness. Almost immediately, King Crimson came to mind. Then I thought about The League of Crafty Guitarists, and it made sense. My suspicions were confirmed, when the leader related some history. They are truly amazing. The scope of material is just as astounding. They have originals, delve into surf music, Beethoven, and even Queen.

This recording is taken from three different shows, at three different locations, in 1999. It even features the legendary Tony Levin on several Tracks. There is also wonderful sax playing by Bill Janssen on quite a few. The sheer entertainment value is worth the price, but the music is outstanding. These guys can play, and play they do.

You wouldn't think a group of acoustic players could pull offthe last Movement of Beethoven's Ninth. Let me tell you, it is a treat.

"Bohemian Rhapsody" is probably more effective when you are in the audience. That doesn't mean that it is not enjoyable at home.

"Caravan" is beautifully executed, and rivals any other artists' versions.

You can't help but love Dick Dale's "Miserlou." When these guys do it, it is an event.

"Blockhead" is a tune they did with (and I believe wrote for) The Robert Fripp String Quintet. This seethes with proggy goodness.

The rest of the tracks take you through many different places, and are all worthy.

This is probably the next best thing to actually seeing them live, and stands out for that purpose. Their studio albums are more concept-oriented. This is fun, and exciting. Check it out.

H.T. Riekels

Review by Atavachron
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Bert Lams, Hideyo Moriya and Paul Richards - the acoustic guitar ensemble better known as the California Guitar Trio - are three very accomplished guys who make great sounding albums. This live set from various venues in Colorado and California in 1999 has some winning selections of acoustic/electric fun and ringingly clear tapestries of ornate rhythmic play. However there are also cuts here that might be better suited for a CD titled 'California Guitar Trio Rocks the West to Sleep', including a few bland originals and several covers and reproductions that don't quite work. Their studio sessions would be a better place to start but this one ain't bad, ain't bad at all.

Especially when you start with a winner like 'Scramble', a network of pulses and spider's web, neat changes, and an unselfish team approach to their playing. Great track. But for a progressive instrumental act, nine minutes of Beethoven's 9th with no particular interpretation or reconstruction is a let down and a tad long-winded, and their 'Bohemian Rhapsody' suffers from the same inertia. On the other hand, the astounding 'Punta Patri' is seductive and moving, covering a range of emotions and ethnic territories all through three guitars and Tony Levin's bass. Though 'Waters of Eden' and 'Pathways' are slow, a 'Pictures at an Exhibition' medley is attempted with mildly interesting results but again, not much new is brought to the party. The evening tops off with 'Blockhead' which is ridiculously good and percusses in a most Fripperrific manner, has a hot sax and plenty of 18-string pyrotechnics.

A mixed bag for the CGT but when they take license and stretch their wings, some magic can be heard. Probably best for fans but a nice issue nonetheless.

Latest members reviews

4 stars I was suprised to see how few people have reviewed any of the albums by the California Guitar Trio. These 3 guitarists were each trained by Robert Fripp of King Crimson. They were also a part of the Robert Fripp String Quintet, and the League of Crafty Guitarists. You cant find better acoustic ... (read more)

Report this review (#70045) | Posted by | Monday, February 20, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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