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.
If you're an air guitarist, Al di Meola has likely been your man since his days as an unknown 21-year-old addition to Chick Corea's Return to Forever in the mid-'70s. Over the years since leaving RTF, he has been afforded the opportunity to record regularly, and this CD represents a good overview of his discography, primarily for the Columbia family of labels. His early dates Land of the Midnight Sun, Elegant Gypsy, and Casino are well represented, in addition to his collaborations with Jan Hammer on Tour de Force: Live. His middle-period efforts are not all that vital, as repeat ideas and predictable flash lost their original value even to the staunchest fans, therefore making this collection less than essential.
Al Laurence Di Meola is an American jazz, jazz fusion, and world music guitarist. Albums such as Friday Night in San Francisco have earned him both critical and commercial success with fans throughout the world.
For who hasn't heard of Andrea Parodi before, he was the lead singer of a folk-pop group (Tazenda) that had a brief moment of success in Italy in the early 90s. His unique voice and the folk themes sung in Sardinian make him more belonging to world music. In this album Al di meola rediscovers the european and mainly Spanish influences that are very evident on Friday Night in SF. The quality of the recording, taking into account that it's a live album, is excellent and remarkable.
Latin music has been a strong influence on Al Di Meola since his early years, and in the '90s, he paid especially close attention to the music of Argentina. A welcome addition to his already impressive catalog, Di Meola Plays Piazzolla pays homage to the late Argentine tango master Astor Piazzolla (whose distinctive and very poetic brand of romanticism was considered quite daring and radical in Argentina). It would have been easy for an artist to allow his own personality to become obscured when saluting Piazzolla's legacy, but the charismatic Di Meola is too great an improviser to let that happen. Though his reverence for Piazzolla comes through loud and clear on these haunting classics, there's no mistaking the fact that this is very much an Al Di Meola project.
With a curriculum vitae rich of exciting musical moments and incredible works, Al Di Meola is still challenging himself and his music but with a more relaxed way to see things. Over the last few years he has literally started all over, reinventing himself in both, his private life and music, and his brand new studio album "OPUS" truly reflects all of this. 'With "OPUS" I wanted to further my compositional skills as I think that the evolution of this part of my persona has labeled me more composer/guitarist than guitarist/composer', says Al. 'At the same time this record also marks a new era in my life. For the first time in my life, I have written music being happy, I'm in a wonderful relationship with my wife, I have a baby girl and a beautiful family that inspires me every day. I believe it shows in the music.' Available on CD, 180 gram Vinyl and Digital.