One of the guitar heroes of fusion, Al di Meola was just 22-years-old at the time of his debut as a leader but already a veteran of Chick Corea's Return to Forever. The complex pieces (which include the three-part "Suite-Golden Dawn," an acoustic duet with Corea on "Short Tales of the Black Forest," and a brief Bach violin sonata show di Meola's range even at this early stage. With assistance from such top players as bassists Jaco Pastorius and Stanley Clarke, keyboardist Barry Miles, and drummers Lenny White and Steve Gadd, this was a very impressive beginning to di Meola's solo career.
Excellent addition to any rock music collection
4.5 stars really!!!!
Having recently shocked and awed the JR/F world with two amazing albums (Hymn To The seventh Galaxy and Romantic Warrior), Return To Forever was riding high on the wave it had created, riding on Corea and DiMeola's incredibly fast playing, displaying a monstrous but cold virtuosity that would eventually have a lot of fans grinding their teeth. ADM's debut solo album was another monster that would enthral fans around the world. This writer bought the album within the month it came out, well before he would indulge in Nucleus of Liles' start of the decade masterpieces, so for a few years, this album represented what jazz-rock was all about. Although called a solo album, you'd swear this could yet another RTF album as all of the RTF members appears at one point or another on this album. Musically speaking, this album is a bit schizophrenic, as 2/3 pf it is pure jazz rock, while the last third is more eclectic, from Classical too.
One of the guitar heroes of fusion, Al Di Meola was just 22 years old at the time of his debut as a leader but already a veteran of Chick Corea's Return to Forever. The complex pieces (which include the three-part "Suite-Golden Dawn," an acoustic duet with Corea on "Short Tales of the Black Forest" and a brief Bach violin sonata) show DiMeola's range even at this early stage. With assistance from such top players as bassists Jaco Pastorius and Stanley Clarke, keyboardist Barry Miles and drummers Lenny White and Steve Gadd, this was a very impressive beginning to DiMeola's solo career.
Guitarist Al di Meola has been alternating electric and acoustic projects for the past few years. For this acoustic affair, he teams up with Dino Saluzzi on bandoneon to pay tribute to tango master Astor Piazzolla. The music (even a duet version of "Someday My Prince Will Come") has the flavor of Argentina and uses a wide variety of instrumentations, including an occasional string section and the voice of Hernan Romero. It's recommended to lovers of world music, the modern tango, and those who think of di Meola's guitar playing as being one-dimensional and purely based on speed.
The television presenter and comedian takes on an epic 8,000-mile journey halfway around the Arctic Circle deep in mid-winter, a spectacular but deadly time of year to see the unforgiving, ice-bound region. His odyssey is full of surprises as he witnesses natural wonders and discovers the magnetic lure of the far north.
"Anthology" contains all the 'classic' tracks like "Land Of The Midnight Sun" (swinging and dynamic with splendid interplay between guitar, electric piano and the rhythm section, an exciting percussive break and a captivating duel between the Minimoog and guitar), "Race With Devil On Spanish Highway" (spectacular propulsive rhythm and catchy guitar riffs and swirling interplay between guitar and keyboards), "Elegant Gypsy Suite" (wonderful Spanish flavor with acoustic guitar and string-ensemble from Al Di Meola), "Medley: Short Tales Of The Black Forest/Fantasia suite for two guitars" (virtuosic interplay between acoustic guitar, marimba and electric piano), "Alien Chase On Arabian Desert" (spectacular Yamaha CS-80 synthesizer sound and a sultry climate delivering a sensational duel between the guitar and Minimoog), "God Bird Change" (swinging and dynamic rhythm with again great interplay between electric guitar, keyboards and percussion and an exciting percussive break on conga's from Mingo Lewis), "Electric Rendezvous" (sensational atmosphere, very catchy and dynamic featuring howling electric guitar and flashy Minimoog flights from Jan Hammer), "Egyptian Dance-live" (also very dynamic and exciting) and "Crusin'-live" (sounds like The Mahavishnu Orchestra delivering splendid work from Al Di Meola and Jan Hammer). The track "Sequencer" features fiery electric guitar and Jan Hammer on the famous Fairlight computer delivering a catchy sequencer sound, this evokes the time that Jan Hammer worked with Jeff Beck on "Wired". On the short "Bianca's midnight lullaby" Al Di Meola plays romantic acoustic guitar. This compilation includes four previously unreleased tracks, the final two on CD2 are recorded in Holland in 1982.
Generally speaking, guitar wizard Al Di Meola has divided his musical attentions over the years between electric and acoustic, fusion and world music directions. This time out he splits the difference with some dazzling results. Coming off his short-lived reunion with Return to Forever, Di Meola returns to the solo spotlight with Pursuit of Radical Rhapsody, a strong and varied effort that moves mostly in the acoustic direction and features some high-profile personnel, including pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba and bassist Charlie Haden.