California Guitar Trio
INNER KNOT/KARATE BODY
California Guitar Trio originally met after participating in one of King Crimson legend Robert Fripp’s Guitar Craft Courses. The influence shows. Since their 1991 inception, the Trio has released a dozen albums of technically dazzling six-string soundscapes. But what separates them from other contemporary virtuoso acts is their eclectic vision, integrating prog, classical, psychedelia, even surf rock, into one forward-looking package. Andromeda, their first album of all-original pieces, is their finest yet. Each player — utilizing acoustic, electric and classical guitars — occupies one stereo channel, forming an interlocking funnel of melody and white-hot rhythm. “Cathedral Peak” is a gorgeous, edge-of-your-seat thriller set in 5/4; “Portland Rain” is appropriately titled, with stereo-engulfing acoustics shimmering like pointillistic dots in a gold-plated, classically tinged flash flood. If relentless arpeggiating ain’t your bag, look elsewhere. But if you like your prog informed by craft as much as wizardry, Andromeda is the perfect destination.