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THE ROBERT FRIPP STRING QUINTET

Robert Fripp

Eclectic Prog


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Robert Fripp The Robert Fripp String Quintet album cover
3.86 | 27 ratings | 5 reviews | 23% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1993

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Kan-Non Power (3:42)
2. Yamanashi Blues (2:36)
3. Hope (5:29)
4. Chromatic Fantasy (1:37)
5. Contrapunctus (2:16)
6. Bicycling to Afghanistan (3:18)
7. Blue (5:26)
8. Blockhead (3:17)
9. Passacaglia (6:52)
10. Threnody for Souls in Torment (12:45)


Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

Robert Fripp with Trey Gunn and the California Guitar Trio.

Releases information

CD: 1994.09 UK DGM DGM 9303

Thanks to gboland for the addition
and to Juha for the last updates
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  • Midnight Blue A Blessing of Tears 1995 Soundscape-Vol 2 - Live in California, 1995

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ROBERT FRIPP The Robert Fripp String Quintet ratings distribution


3.86
(27 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(23%)
23%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(50%)
50%
Good, but non-essential (19%)
19%
Collectors/fans only (8%)
8%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

ROBERT FRIPP The Robert Fripp String Quintet reviews


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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Atavachron
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Robert Fripp's continuing work not only as instrumentalist/composer/leader but as active teacher is, to say the least, prolific. These highlights from performances in Italy, Argentina, the U.S. and Britain are beautiful, crystal-recorded examples of the String Quintet; his immensely talented apprentices Bert Lams, Paul Richards and Hideyo Moriya (better known as the California Guitar Trio), as well as Robert and Trey Gunn on Grand Stick. What is even more interesting is that this record could appeal to fans of Yngwie Malmsteen as much as to those of King Crimson. But that's the beauty of this project: the lads don't care for labels and don't use 'em.

Track after track simmers with classical heat and six-string flash, such as the confident opener 'Kan-Non Power', the playful and bouncy 'Yamanashi Blues' and the inviting calm of 'Hope'. Bach pieces like 'Contrapunctus' and 'Passacaglia' are clean and lush, and 'Bicycling to Afghanistan' - the centerpiece here and an instrumental triumph - is a guitar lover's wet dream. But the album remains buoyant to the end with 'Blockhead', a prime example of this ensemble's work and proof that the core of the RFSQ is more than just a group of hangers-on or a bunch of starry-eyed wannabes who desire nothing more than to be an incorporeal personification of their leader. Seemingly unnoticed and underappreciated, this is a terrific set and is superior to any record by the California Guitar Trio themselves. The closer is the moody twelve-minute soundscape 'Threnody for Souls in Torment'. A big winner this CD and a nice change of pace.

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Send comments to Atavachron (BETA) | Report this review (#108219) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, January 21, 2007

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JazzRock/Fusion Teams
4 stars This is actually one of my favorite non-King Crimson Fripp albums after Exposure. I wish he spent more time working on music like this than those mind numbingly boring "Frippertronics" albums.

Here, Fripp and Trey Gunn, the very talented stick player from the most recent incarnations of King Crimson, team up with The California Guitar Trio to play some modern chamber music. To solidify the chamber music feel, there are some actual J.S. Bach pieces, as well as some original pieces in the same vein. The steel stringed acoustic guitars of the CGT, played in perfect precision, have a sound not unlike a harpsichord, and capture the mood exquisitely. Here, the Frippertronics added as washes behind the music adds depth to the pieces, and Gunn's stick adds a solid bottom to the music as well.

The only Crimson-like piece on the album is the eerie Threnody For Souls In Torment, a soundscape piece somewhat reminiscent of The Deception Of The Thrush improvs, without many of the sound effect overlays.

A solid four stars for this one.

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Send comments to Evolver (BETA) | Report this review (#251943) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, November 20, 2009

Review by Neu!mann
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars The Robert Fripp String Quintet saw the once and future Crimson King working alongside his trusty sidekick Trey Gunn and the California Guitar Trio, alumni of Fripp's Guitar Craft seminars (and not actually from California, as this Pacific Coast expat was disappointed learn after seeing them open for the double-trio Crimson in 1995).

It was a short-lived but vital entity, as their 1993 album (the Quintet's one and only) convincingly demonstrates. In the booklet for the compact disc DGM engineer David Singleton writes: "I realized at the time that my job was to convince him [Fripp] that this album too...could be a major piece of work." But, judging at least from the scant number of reviews here at Prog Archives after eighteen years, it sort of fell between the cracks after the subsequent high-profile reformation of KC shortly afterward.

Too bad, because there's a lot here to admire, from the soaring beauty of "Hope" to the jaw- dropping distorted baroque frenzy of "Chromatic Fantasy", one of three J.S. Bach pieces in this set, and proof again that Mr. Fripp remains one of Rock's best and most distinctive guitarists. (I'm guessing this particular track is not unlike a typical morning warming-up exercise for him, and the best of luck. Kids, do not try this at home...)

Other highlights include the nervous energy of "Ka-Non Power" (a distant nephew of sorts to the classic Crimson "Larks Tongues in Aspic" cycle), alongside the more upbeat, toe- tapping melodies of "Yamanashi Blues" and "Bicycling to Afghanistan", not a recommended leisure activity these days. The backing tracks were all performed live, with discreet studio overdubs added afterward, typically featuring an acoustic California Trio accompanied by Fripp on electric guitar, with Trey Gunn playing the ubiquitous Chapman Stick. A lot of the music builds on the model designed a decade earlier by the "Discipline"- era King Crimson, with a similar interwoven gamelan of mathematic guitar notation.

The album's epilogue, and by far the longest selection on it, is the Frippertronic showpiece "Threnody for Souls in Torment", which sounds exactly like its title. From what dark corner inside the otherwise mild-mannered psyche of Robert Fripp does music this extreme spring from? Play it loud, and watch how well it frightens away your unwanted houseguests.

In the end it may not be entirely essential, but the album is still one of the hidden gems on the crown of the greater Crimson King.

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Send comments to Neu!mann (BETA) | Report this review (#585446) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, December 09, 2011

Latest members reviews

4 stars In a not so Faraway place; known to us commoners as "classical music" there came upon the world a movement known as minimalism; this "style" diverted in all sorts of directions. Minimalism works both with Fast-diminute structures to create a "whole" (like baroque music); or the slow-passage of a co ... (read more)

Report this review (#886502) | Posted by admireArt | Wednesday, January 02, 2013 | Review Permanlink

3 stars This album - "The Bridge Between" - from The Robert Fripp String Quintet is mostly a California Guitar Trio album, with a little help from Robert Fripp and Trey Gunn. It mostly mixes CGT songs with Classical J.S. Bach compositions - only two songs are written by the team Fripp/Gunn. I would re ... (read more)

Report this review (#72407) | Posted by zaxx | Monday, March 20, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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