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Trey Gunn – One Thousand Years
June 25th, 2002 under Album Reviews. [ Comments: none ]

Released: 1993
Tracks: The Night Air; The Screen Door and the Flower Girl; Killing for London; Real Life; Into the Wood; The Gift; Take This Wish; 1000 Years
Best track: Into the Wood
Track to skip: none

Trey sings! The first, and only to my knowledge, CD that Trey Gunn actually sings on. His voice isn’t bad at all and it fits just perfectly with his songs. I guess that he wasn’t too happy with it so he’s had other people (usually female) sing on the following releases. I admire him for at least trying, considering he’s a ‘bass player’.

Trey Gunn isn’t a Bass Player in the tradition sense. His instrument of choice is (for this release, then he switched to the Warr Guitar) the Chapman Stick, an instrument that Tony Levin made popular. Like Levin, Trey handles some bass duties for King Crimson. Unlike Tony, however, Trey is still there while Tony is doing other stuff. Trey Gunn started out in the League of Crafty Guitarists and it was Robert Fripp who suggested he pick up the Chapman stick. He did, and our lives are better for it.

I’ve always been happy that I got this; the songs and playing are quite cool. Into the Wood is my favorite. Trey lays down a rhythm track (with some vocals at the beginning) and then overdubs an awesome solo on top of it. Excellent stuff. All the tracks on this are good. Very atmospheric throughout with creative ‘non-rock’ rhythms. Most tracks that feature a drum-based rhythm are done with tabla and other percussion, with a drum set only appearing on rare occasion. 2 of the tracks, The Gift and 1000 Years, are just solo stick pieces that are reminiscent of Fripp’s Soundscapes. I actually like Gunn’s versions better, they are less mechanical sounding and just float better. I highly recommend getting this, if you can find it. Best bet is through Discipline. Not a bad moment on here.

Rating: 91

California Guitar Trio – Invitation
June 25th, 2002 under Album Reviews. [ Comments: none ]

Released: 1995
Tracks: Train to Lamy Suite (Parts 1 – 3); Punta Patri; Toccata and Fugue in D Minor; Fratres; Train to Lamy Part 4; Apache; Train to Lamy Part 5; Above the Clouds; Prelude Circulation; The Good the Bad and the Ugly; Train to Lamy Part 3 (reprise)
Best track: very hard…either Punta Patri or Above the Clouds
Tracks to skip: Lamy Part 4 and Part 3 Reprise are pretty useless, but they don’t take up too much room

I’m not sure if I like this one better than Yamanashi or not. I like the original CGT songs on YB better, but the overall production and atmosphere is better on Invitation. However, like I said above, both Punta Patri and Above the Clouds are absolutely incredible pieces. Punta is probably one of the saddest pieces of music I’ve ever heard and Trey Gunn sits in for Clouds and he just owns it. His playing is nothing short of gorgeous on this. These days it’s pretty rare for Gunn to take a solo, but it’s always an Experience whenever he does.

As usual with the CGT, there are a mix of covers and originals. For covers this time they still insist on playing some Bach (both Toccata & Prelude Circulation), but both are pretty good. Toccata does go on for a bit, but that’s the way Bach wrote it. Prelude is so quiet, and pretty short, that I barely noticed it. Fratres is a very cool piece by Part that also has more excellent stuff from Trey Gunn. Then we have the ‘fun’ pieces that the CGT like to throw in for every album, Apache and Good-Bad-Ugly. Both are excellent.

Train to Lamy is a perfect way to open up the album, but I think the piece (and album) is weakened a bit by not having the whole thing together. The Lamy Suite is excellent though. Hmm, maybe the originals on this do hold up to those on Yamanashi. I still haven’t made my decision yet, but it really doesn’t matter. This is another wonderful CD by a trio of 3 exceptionally creative guitarists. This is harder to find in stores, so it’d be best to either order it from the band or Discipline.

Rating: 93


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