Out of a stack of California Guitar Trio (CGT) CDs, my favorite may be "An Opening Act: On Tour With King Crimson." It's everything that we've come to love about the group. It features that distinctively CGT balance of surf and classically inspired material. This trio met while enrolled in Robert Fripp's Guitar Craft program. Afterwards, they took it to the next level by becoming one of the most active elements in the guitar craft movement. Coming full circle, we can only imagine how wonderful it would have been for the group to actually open for Fripp's King Crimson. While CGT's music has always been infused with the sensibility of the League of Crafty Guitarists, "An Opening Act" is under a heavy Robert Fripp shadow. 'Train To Lamy' even features an exciting nod to '21st Century Schizoid Man.' One of the benefits of this live show is that it plays like a greatest hits. In terms of the Americana, 'Walk Don't Run' and 'Misirlou' are strengths. 'Kan-Non Power' is a CGT original that Robert Fripp assimilated into the setlists of his String Quintet. From Morricone's 'The Good, The Bad And The Ugly' to Bach's 'Toccata and Fugue in D Minor,' the listener simply can't go wrong. What is gained in the studio is often lost on the stage and vice versa. Live performances tend to trade production quality for energy. One of the outstanding dynamics of this release as a live recording is that it shows that these guys still shine in terms of their technical precision and blinding speed. Indeed, "An Opening Act" kills any suspicion that the merits of CGT have been engineered with studio trickery. After a dozen albums, this late 1990s show is special given that it is the group's only live release. All in all, "An Opening Act: On Tour With King Crimson" stands as an exciting document of what California Guitar Trio can do on stage.
Amazon doesn't currently list the songs. Here they are:
1. Yamanashi Blues 2. Melrose Avenue 3. Train To Lamy 4. The Good, The Bad And The Ugly 5. Punta Patri 6. Toccata and Fugue in D minor 7. Pipeline 8. Kan-Non Power 9. Invitation 10. Walk Don't Run 11. Misirlou
I was searching for Robert Frip (did not find any of his recent work) but was impressed by the samples from this album. Very happy I purchased it. Stunning guitar work, and love the mix of surf and classics.
Happened to be at the show in Cincy from whence this recording originates. A stunning experience, as "Hometown Hero" Adrian Belew and the King Crimson Double Trio/Quartet were fronted by the California Guitar Trio. CGT dominated the night. KC was incredible, but they were not the most impressive musicians that evening. Buy this disc with confidence and enjoy a masterful performance for a lifetime. Whenever you have time and the funds, see CGT live, Adrian Belew in performance, and/or experience a KC concert. "An Opening Act" should be in your collection of live performances, experimental guitar masters, or great CDs for a drive to anywhere and back.