With a musical career spanning more than three decades, Al Di Meola continues to be one of the most influential and pioneering guitarists in the jazz-world-fusion category, mirroring the rich influences of flamenco, tango, Brazilian, African, and Middle Eastern music in his work. Recorded in 1993 at the North Sea Jazz Festival, an event widely acknowledged as the biggest and most prestigious festival in the world. Over the past 30 years, Al Di Meola has been recognized as a prolific composer, with over two dozen recordings to his name. The profundity of Di Meola s writing, along with the soulfulness and natural lyricism of his playing, have won him a large number of admirers worldwide.
Reissue with the latest remastering. Features original cover artwork. A mighty nice set from pianist Cees Slinger – a live performance from a very hip octet – a group who can come on with ensemble fury one minute, then play like a small combo the next! Slinger's choice of musicians is wonderful – and includes Dusko Goykovich on trumpet, Fredinand Povel on alto and soprano, and Ruud Brink on tenor – all musicians who really make the sound sparkle with their solos, but can also slide nicely into the context of the rest of the group, too – in the manner that Povel and Goykovich were so good at on performances for MPS. There's a great sense of color throughout – really showing off Slinger's skill as an arranger – and titles include "Never Forever", "From Way Back", "Changing Colours", "Fee Fi Fo Fum", and "Killer Joe".
The sound and band that served Sergio Mendes well on Fool on the Hill remain intact on Crystal Illusions, with few modifications. Dave Grusin is right there with a lush, haunting orchestral chart when needed; Lani Hall is thrust further into the vocal spotlight, as cool and alluring as ever in Portuguese or English. Mendes remained on the lookout for fresh Brazilian tunes, and he came up with a coup, one of the earliest covers of a Milton Nascimento tune to reach North America, "Vera Cruz" (with Hall's English lyrics, it became "Empty Faces"), as well as Dori Caymmi's "Dois Dias."