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LAGQ Spin
     

LAGQ Spin

2.0 2
by Los Angeles Guitar Quartet
 
Equally at home in a wide variety of musical genres, the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet has often blended classical, jazz, Latin, and other styles on their albums. What's exceptional about the pieces performed on LAGQ Spin is how hard they are to categorize: They may sound like pop instrumentals and classical quartets at

Overview

Equally at home in a wide variety of musical genres, the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet has often blended classical, jazz, Latin, and other styles on their albums. What's exceptional about the pieces performed on LAGQ Spin is how hard they are to categorize: They may sound like pop instrumentals and classical quartets at the same time, but mostly they just seem uniquely like the work of the LAGQ. There's a good reason for this: Nearly all of this music was composed specifically for the ensemble, and several works were written by quartet members Andrew York and William Kanengiser. The program is immensely enjoyable, with each track a showpiece for the group's skill and personality -- not to mention Telarc's brilliant sound engineering, which places the listener right in the center of the action. Among the highlights are York's quirky suite Night Furniture and Joe Duddell's minimalist-inspired Freaky Dancer, both of which feature the added flavors of guest artist Colin Currie's percussion. But the LAGQ is just as scintillating on its own, whether working with the jazzy harmonies of Vince Mendoza's Solstice Poem, the lilting, Celtic-style shanty of Kanengiser's Turn to the Sea (which is repeated at the program's end in an extended bonus track), or the delicate plucking of Bryan Johanson's Catwalk (where you might be fooled into imagining a string quartet playing pizzicato). As a compulsively listenable portrait of this top-notch ensemble, Spin is one album you'll want to keep on spinning and spinning.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Blair Sanderson
A quick check of the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet's discography reveals its strong grounding in both classical and popular music, and makes clear that the virtuoso ensemble's success is largely due to finding the right blend to please almost everyone. That's one reason why Spin, the LAGQ's 2006 release on Telarc, is a bit of a risky venture, since it features no classical arrangements and presents only pop-inflected pieces by group members William Kanengiser and Andrew York, as well as several similarly flavored selections by rising composers of light and tonal contemporary fare. This agreeable program is commercially viable, and since the music is pleasant and occasionally catchy, few casual listeners will be disappointed with it; but because this collection is extremely mild in its fusion of styles and quite mellow in its moods, adventurous listeners will find absolutely no challenges here. With guest percussionist Colin Currie joining the group on Joe Duddell's "Freaky Dancer" and York's "Night Furniture," there are some changes of texture and color that provide relief; but arrangements for guitars dominate the disc, and their timbral blandness tends to pall, especially in music of such limited harmonic and melodic interest. So while this CD has some appealing qualities that LAGQ's fans will appreciate, it is decidedly lightweight in substance and not required listening for the group's classical audience.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/28/2006
Label:
Telarc
UPC:
0089408064760
catalogNumber:
60647

Tracks

  1. Turn to the Sea, for 4 guitars
  2. Hidden Realm of Light, for 4 guitars
  3. Spin, for guitar orchestra (or 4 guitars)
  4. Freaky Dancer, for 4 guitars & percussion
  5. Quiccan, for guitar quartet
  6. Catwalk, for 4 guitars
  7. Night Furniture, for 4 guitars & percussion
  8. Did You See the Moon Last Night?, for 4 guitars
  9. Stairs, for 4 acoustic, steel-string guitars
  10. Solstice Poem, for 4 guitars
  11. Stirfry, for 4 guitars
  12. Turn to the Sea, for 4 guitars

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