California Guitar Trio

With a whirlwind of instrumental styles fusing classical, rock, blues, jazz, world music bluegrass, as […]
By Makis Kirkos
August 9, 2004
California Guitar Trio - Whitewater album cover

With a whirlwind of instrumental styles fusing classical, rock, blues, jazz, world music bluegrass, as well as the quintessential California musical genre surf music, the California Guitar Trio's stunning virtuosity and sly sense of humor have earned them a rabid following and wide notoriety, with significant crossover in the progressive, acoustic and classical music scenes.
Notably, CGT music was featured in the television coverage of the 1998 and 2000 Olympics, and on CBS, NBC, CNN World Beat, and ESPN TV programs. The CGT performed on the 2003 Grammy Awards nominated track Apollo from Tony Levin's CD Pieces of the Sun; and CGT music was sent into outer space as wake up music for the crew aboard NASA's Space Shuttle Endeavor.
Paul Richards of Salt Lake City, Utah, Bert Lams of Brussels, Belgium, and Hideyo Moriya of Tokyo first met in England at one of Robert Fripp's Guitar Craft Courses in 1987. After completing several of these intensive courses, the three toured worldwide with Fripp's League of Crafty Guitarists. Wanting to continue together after the League had run its course, Bert, Paul and Hideyo convened in Los Angeles and founded The California Guitar Trio in 1991, honing their intricate original compositions, surf covers, and classical re-workings.
In 1993 the trio released their first full-length album on the Discipline Global Mobile label, Yamanashi Blues which features brilliant interlocked acoustic instrumentals such as Kan-non Power, surf tunes, and Bach pieces. Touring with Fripp and Trey Gunn as the Robert Fripp String Quintet in 1993 resulted in the outstanding live album The Bridge Between. In 1995 the CGT released Invitation, notable for its splendid rendition of Bach's famous Toccata and Fugue in D Minor. In 1998, the CGT's best selling album Pathways was released featuring amazing arrangements of works of Beethoven. The band has recorded four live albums, An Opening Act - On tour with King Crimson, Rocks the West, the self-released Monday Night in San Francisco (with Tony Levin) and Live at the Key Club, featuring Levin and Pat Mastelotto.
The CGT signed with InsideOut Music label in 2002 and released the critically acclaimed CG3+2, featuring Peter Gabriel bassist Tony Levin and King Crimson drummer Pat Mastelotto. The truth is that this release has nothing to do with heavy metal music; instead what we got here is instrumental progressive rock tunes. I admit I haven't heard of CGT before and I was quite surprised from my first hearing of Whitewater.
Twelve instrumental songs, twelve tracks listening to only guitars. Just acoustic, electro acoustic and electric guitar melodies and harmonies, that's all. A sound that I am not used to but I will definitely start listening from now on. What can I say for these guys? Their material is excellent. It's like a guitar-orgasm. You will need some hearings before you get used to this sound but once you do that you will be amazed. For sure this trio belong with all the other guitar heroes. Well if you want to relax - chill out and hear something different among the heavy metal tunes that you always hear, then I strongly suggest you these guys... although you have to be open-minded to accept this kind of music.

8 / 10


"Whitewater" Track-listing:

The Marsh
Prelude Circulation BVW 988
Led Foot
Relative Illusion
Red Iguana
Ghost Riders On The Storm

California Guitar Trio Lineup:

Hideyo Moriya - Guitars
Paul Richards - Guitars
Bert Lams - Guitars

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