Al Di Meola: Pursuit of Radical Rhapsody (2011)
Like the rest of his body of work, Pursuit is a showcase of Di Meola's technical mastery. His creative exploration of different rhythmic, melodic, and harmonic traditionsin addition to interesting instrumentation including accordiondemonstrate how adept of a player he is, his titular pursuit apparent from the very first note.
In addition to Di Meola's signature style as a shredding jazz man exploring the reaches of fusion and world music, he gives nod to the popular music tradition with pretty interpretations of The Beatles' "Strawberry Fields" and the classic standard, "Over the Rainbow," both featuring bass great, Charlie Haden.
There is something majestic about this record, a masterpiece of careful craftsmanship. Rather than being an intimate record, however, it's more opera house than jazz bar. It's experimental in its instrumentation and fusion of styles; a standard record from a guitar great.
Fans of Di Meola's past records will find plenty to like in Pursuit of Radical Rhapsody; those who've been unconvinced, however, won't likely be swayed in their opinions.
Track Listing: Siberiana; Paramour's Lullaby; Mawazine Pt. 1; Michelangelo's 7th Child; Gumbiero; Brave New World; Full Frontal Contrapuntal; That Way Before; Fireflies; Destination Gonzalo; Bona; Radical Rhapsody; Strawberry Fields; Mawazine Pt. 2; Over the Rainbow.
Personnel: Al Di Meola: acoustic and electric guitars, percussion, keyboards; Fausto Beccalossi: accordion; Kevin Seddiki: second guitar parts; Gumbi Ortiz: percussion; Peter Kaszas: drums, percussion; Victor Miranda: acoustic upright baby bass; Charlie Haden: acoustic bass (13,15); Peter Erskine: drums (4, 10, 12); Gonzalo Rubalcaba: piano (5, 10, 12, 13); Barry Miles: string arrangements and additional keyboards; Mino Cinelu: percussion (3, 4, 13, 14); Gabor Csonka: violin (4, 11, 15); Viktor Uhrin: violin (4, 11, 15); Gergely Kuklis: violin (4); Gyula Benk: violin (4, 11, 15); Andras Sturcz: violin (4, 11, 15).
Record Label: Telarc Records
Style: Beyond Jazz