Saturday, December 17, 2011

California Guitar Trio

California Guitar Trio
A Christmas Album

by Glenn Astarita

Not that there is an abundance of progressive rock-tinged acoustic guitar trios among the ranks, but this aggregation stands tall among its peers as the guitarists' inventiveness surges forward with this altogether warmhearted reckoning of Christmas carols and other pleasantries. The guitarists' nimble yet at times forceful approach is wholly evident during their highly rhythmic spin on "Jingle Bells." They perform the classic "Greensleeves" with a sensitive, chamber-like approach while also tackling the Lennon/Ono favorite "Happy X-Mas (War Is Over)." However, part of the magic resides within the trio's ability to delve into the inherent frameworks of each song, while also reformulating themes and rhythms into personalized statements. Essentially, the artists have produced a rather poignant Christmas outing, awash with interweaving lines and lilting harmonies, as they complement their superior artisanship and forward-thinking deployments with a cheerfully rendered collection of holiday favorites.

1 Carol of the Bells
2 Oh Christmas Tree
3 Greensleeves (What Child Is This?)
4 Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring
5 God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
6 "Unto Us a Child Is Born"
7 Jingle Bells
8 Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence
9 Happy Xmas (War Is Over)
10 Silent Night