(Incus)

The three acoustic guitar anti-heroes featured here are Nels Cline, Jim McAuley and Rod Poole. The “social interactions” among the instrumental entities are conveniently oriented towards controlled dissonance, often opening up to reveal a flourishing variety of arpeggio delicacies and a very careful choice of tunings that will sound “wrong” to the ones whose maximum level of complication acceptance translates as “California Guitar Trio”. But, to yours truly, those strange distinctions of chords and lines are the very essence of the AGT’s musicianship. A concentrated listen will highlight an ever-present fantasy, a bright-minded attack to conventional guitar counterpoint and an involuntary slap in the face of boring virtuosos. Not that Cline, McAuley and Poole lack any technique, mind you; simply put, there’s no trace of routine in sight, the music often sparkling. These guys listen to each other instead of posing in front of a giant mirror of hollowness.

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