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LAGQ's Guitar Heroes

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Album Review

The Los Angeles Guitar Quartet — nominally lumped into a catch-all classical guitar category — pays affectionate tribute to a gallery of its members' idols here, with a selection that sweeps across the stylistic board. These players (John Dearman, William Kanengiser, Scott Tennant, and Andrew York) grew up in the phonograph generation, and their inspirations seem to come from anywhere and everywhere, and they are not shy — nor should they be — about picking from such a wide range of heroes. While the goal is to salute and transform their music into something else, not every chosen guitar master undergoes the treatment convincingly. The foursome adopt bluegrass flat-picking techniques to give thanks to Norman Blake and Brian Bromberg, and they are very adept at turning Steve Howe's (of Yes) "Mood for A Day" into a stirring flamenco showcase. The gypsy jazz soul of Django Reinhardt makes the transition, thanks in part to the LAGQ's skillful, idiomatic use of vibrato on "Gypsy Flower." The ambitious "We Know You Know: Reverie for Mahavishnu" tries to track two of the incarnations of John McLaughlin — more successfully in the unplugged reminiscences than the Stravinsky-quoting Mahavishnu Orchestra mode. Nor does the Jimi Hendrix tribute make much sense; his electronically altered world simply does not translate to the acoustic guitar — however hard their playing techniques strive to evoke the Hendrix sound. Closer to their sound world are Sergio and Odair Assad ("Uarekena" and "Pepe Romero," (for their mentor)), and the Romero family ("El Baile de Luis Alonzo," from a zarzuela by Jeronimo Jimenez, performed as written). The CD concludes on a high note with an affectionate, uncanny arrangement for four guitars of the Echoplexed effects on Chet Atkins' "Blue Ocean Echo" that morphs into a jaunty "Country Gentleman." An enjoyable collection overall, and available in CD and SACD surround formats. (The SACD version is especially dramatic, even mind-blowing, when the multi-channel mix places a guitar in each of four speakers). ~ Richard S. Ginell, Rovi

Customer Reviews

Michael Hedges: Lament and Wake-

Wow! What beautiful music... Take a drive on a fall day or have a class of wine and listen to this CD.

LAGQ Guitar Heroes

If you have never heard of the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet (LAGQ) you are in for a real treat. Their percussive technique is wonderful on all thier arrangements from classical to pop to Latin. Theirs is the kind of music you might enjoy with your lover over a candlelit dinner. Enjoy!


Formed: 1980 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Classical

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

In addition to its recordings for Sony Classical, Los Angeles Guitar Quartet (LAGQ) has given recitals in many of the world's top halls and toured most of the Northern Hemisphere. Comprised of John Dearman, William Kanengiser, Scott Tennant, and Andrew York, LAGQ released its first album, Dances From Renaissance to Nutcracker, in late 1993. The quartet spent the remainder of the '90s touring the United States and working on solo projects. It teamed with Sony Classical in 1998 for L.A.G.Q., an album...
Full Bio
LAGQ's Guitar Heroes, Los Angeles Guitar Quartet
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Customer Ratings