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California Guitar Trio - Invitation CD (album) cover


California Guitar Trio


Crossover Prog

3.94 | 23 ratings

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3 stars Invitation continues the style that was initially set on the band's debut album Yamanishi Blues but this time with even more enthusiasm and added improvements to the band's general direction.

Even though the first section of the album opening track Train To Lamy Suite (Parts 1-3) features some electric guitar arrangements, the band soon returns to their more familiar setting of contemporary and classic acoustic guitar music. Just like it's predecessor, the music on Invitation is very soothing and some listeners might surely question the collective's progressive rock merits. There is a definite spirit of prog in this music but you'll have to look beyond the initial sounds of soft acoustic music in order to uncover it. Observe how these compositions unfold themselves, like the very subtle intro section of Fratres which brings a totally new aura to the minimalistic style of Arvo Pärt's original work. Or how about the unique new take on the main theme from The Good The Bad And The Ugly by Ennio Morricone?

It's clear that California Guitar Trio have found a way to keep my interest with their music for longer time spans than what they achieved on their debut album, but just like with any collection of unrelated compositions this release is still far from perfect. Some compositions work nicely in their new arrangements while others, like the well known instrumental Apache, written by Jerry Lordan, just sounds very generic to my ears and I hesitate to see anything special in this performance. I'm also not that fond of the short Train To Lamy interludes since they don't really add anything worth a while to my overall experience of this album.

There's really no denying that when this album works, it works almost on every level. Unfortunately I still find this album laking in some of the most basic fields like the ability to unite the different compositions, that are offered on this album, into a complete experience that would make me feel like I've just experienced something extraordinary Invitation is a good record but I'll leave it at that.

***** star songs: Fratres (6:28)

**** star songs: Train To Lamy Suite (Parts 1-3) (4:23) Punta Patri (4:19) Toccata And Fugue In D Minor (7:51) Above The Clouds (5:30) Prelude Circulation (2:44) The Good The Bad And The Ugly (2:36)

*** star songs: Train To Lamy Part 4 (0:27) Apache (3:00) Train To Lamy Part 5 (2:04) Train To Lamy Part 3 (Reprise) (1:24)

Rune2000 | 3/5 |


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