259

Al DiMeola: Anthology

Todd S. Jenkins By

Sign in to view read count
The Holy Trinity of great fusion guitarists must assuredly be John McLaughlin, Pat Metheny and Al DiMeola. This two-disc “Anthology” collects the best tracks from seven of DiMeola’s Columbia albums between 1975 and 1983, along with four previously unreleased live tracks. Since DiMeola turned out so much uniformly excellent music for the label in that period, this collection is a fine starting point for anyone interested in pursuing the guitarist’s work. Clearly represented are his myriad Latin influences, speed-picking prowess (try disc 1, track 2 on for size) and classical leanings. DiMeola’s tenure in Chick Corea’s fusion incubator Return To Forever impacted his career in many ways, and three of Corea’s compositions receive masterful interpretations here in return.

Most of the tracks are by DiMeola’s classic quintet with bass guitarist Anthony Jackson and drummer Steve Gadd. Among the other performers are bassist Jaco Pastorius, drummers Alphonse Mouzon and Lenny White, keyboardist Jan Hammer and even Genesis drummer Phil Collins on one track. It speaks volumes about DiMeola’s foresight as a performer that few of these tracks, even the earliest, sound dated in this digitally remastered package.

Many of these tracks are textbook examples of tastefulness within the fusion idiom. Disc 1, track 3 and disc 2, track 7 still have the potential to make aspiring six-stringers slam down their guitars in frustration. And the multiple-overdubbed disc 2, track 3 is one of DiMeola’s most beautiful moments. The reissue staff at Columbia have outdone themselves in assembling these twenty tracks as an overview of the guitar legend’s bright career.

Tracks – Disc 1: Land of the Midnight Sun; Suite: Golden Dawn; Race With Devil on Spanish Highway; Elegant Gypsy Suite; Senor Mouse; Casino; Medley: Short Tales From the Black Forest / Fantasia Suite for Two Guitars; The Wizard. Disc 2: Alien Chase on Arabian Desert; Dinner Music of the Gods; Bianca’s Midnight Lullaby; God Bird Change; Electric Rendezvous; Nena; Egyptian Danza; Cruisin’; Island Dreamer; Sequencer; Al Di’s Dream Theme; Theme to the Mothership.

Title: Anthology | Year Released: 2000 | Record Label: Audio Fidelity

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Upcoming Shows

Date Detail Price
Sep8Sun
Al Di Meola
Boulder Theater
Boulder, CO
Sep17Tue
Al Di Meola
Rialto Theatre
Tucson, AZ
$38
Sep19Thu
Al Di Meola
The Coach House
San Juan Capistrano, CA
Sep21Sat
Al Di Meola
The Rose
Pasadena, CA
$34 - 58

Related Articles

Read The Turning Album Reviews
The Turning
By Bruce Lindsay
July 20, 2019
Read Reveries and Revelations Album Reviews
Reveries and Revelations
By John Eyles
July 20, 2019
Read Live/Shapeshifter Album Reviews
Live/Shapeshifter
By Don Phipps
July 20, 2019
Read Vol 3 Album Reviews
Vol 3
By Phillip Woolever
July 20, 2019
Read First Nature Album Reviews
First Nature
By Troy Dostert
July 19, 2019
Read Sacred Kind of Love: The Columbia Recordings Album Reviews
Sacred Kind of Love: The Columbia Recordings
By Jakob Baekgaard
July 19, 2019
Read Perhaps Album Reviews
Perhaps
By Don Phipps
July 19, 2019