The Guitar Trio: Le Monastère Dans Les Montagnes


Le Monastere Dans Les Montagnes


The Guitar Trio


The Guitar Trio (Verve 314 533 215-2)

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John McLaughlin (acoustic guitar), Paco De Lucia (acoustic guitar), Al Di Meola (acoustic guitar).

Composed by John McLaughlin


Recorded: England, summer 1996


Rating: 94/100 (learn more)

It's such a shame. Despite a growing personal rift between Paco De Lucia and John McLaughlin and their trio partner Al Di Meola, The Guitar Trio's music seemed to be only getting better. The trio really shot off fireworks on their early 1980s efforts Friday Night in San Francisco and Passion Grace & Fire. For this reunion, the band still had plenty of those fireworks. But a refinement of approach and taste had been added in the ensuing years of experience. Despite the simmering acrimony, the guitarists managed to create some off-the-scale beauty on The Guitar Trio album. A tour followed the CD. But the behind-the-scenes arguments ruined the magic. These gifted guitarists will never perform as a trio again. McLaughlin and De Lucia will certainly continue their longstanding history of collaboration at some point. But Di Meola is the odd man out.

"Le Monastère Dans Les Montagnes" is a reverential exercise. McLaughlin, who studies Buddhist writings, had Zen in mind when he wrote this composition. For that reason, it is centered. The players occasionally add fiery lines, sometimes played in unison, but the overall vibe is one of virtuosic restraint. (Restraint from these guys is great exertion for others.) For a few minutes you can forget about the world's problems, the Guitar Trio's and your own. Close your eyes and you can feel the pulse of life in this music.

Reviewer: Walter Kolosky

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