Artist/ Band: Guitar Garden
Title: China Rose
Label: GuitarGarden Music
Year of Release: 2005
Artist/ Band Link (click for details/ ordering)

The Review:

Guitar Garden is basically guitarist and multi instrumentalist Pete Prown. On China Rose, he is joined by Rich Maloof (guitar), Brett Bottomley (bass), Steve Puglia (keyboards) and John Gannon (percussion). Together they create a sublime mixture of Asian influenced music along with various other ethnic themes and hip hop grooves. Iím sure to a casual listener, they can be classified as new age or even ambient, but thereís just too much of a modern beat to the whole album. In many ways, you can think of the style of music hear on China Rose as a more hip cousin to New Age, ambient and World music.

Upon several listens to China Rose, I found the guitar playing on par with the California Guitar Trio. In many ways I think of Guitar Garden as an ethnic cousin to California Guitar Trio. Other similarities fall under Peter Gabrielís excursion into world music and as another California band/project Systems Theory.

All of the songs on China Rose are composed with a restraint to them especially in the guitar playing. To me that is perfect because it allows the music to shine and not get smothered by needless soloing.. I think Pete and company subscribes to the ďless is moreĒ moto. This definitely makes it easier for listeners such as myself that arenít versed in many of progressive rockís sub-genres. Iíve been blessed with some of the best representative works of the genre and Guitar Garden is one of the top ranking, in my opinion.. Thank you Pete for a very enjoyable album that Iíll be returning to quite often. I canít recommend this enough especially to the fans of the aforementioned bands.

Reviewed by Ron Fuchs on January 10th, 2006

Tracks:

1. Erhu
2. China Rose
3. Green Mountains
4. Cloudburst
5. Lotus
6. Bird of Paradise
7. Blue
8. Ashes of the Pagoda

Bonus track
9. Erhu (extended mix)

Reviewed Discography

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