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Robert Fripp - The Robert Fripp String Quintet: The Bridge Between CD (album) cover


Robert Fripp


Eclectic Prog

3.90 | 60 ratings

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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.

Atavachron | 4/5 |


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