All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

3

Al Di Meola: Opus

Doug Collette By

Sign in to view read count
Guitarist/composer Al Di Meola explores his heritage musically and otherwise in the near hour-long Opus. Largely a solo project, the music becomes all the more compelling for an intricacy mirrored in the deceptively ornate cover art.

The intimacy arising from the very first tones of "Milonga Noctiva (Wandering in the Dark)" eventually alternates overdubs of acoustic and electric guitars with orchestral punctuation. As flamenco flourishes introduce the sounds of classically-tinged piano, the musicianship conjures an air of formality that is a direct reflection of Di Meola's personality, yet the prominence of percussion here supplies a heat that compensates for what might be construed as an overly cerebral approach. The sharp edges of fiery electric guitar lines serve the same purpose on "Broken Heart."

"Ava's Dream Sequence Lullaby" presents a tangible sense of a band playing rather than a single individual and that effect, not surprisingly, is even more readily discernible on "Cerreto Sannita," one of the two cuts featuring keyboardist Kemuel Roig, as well as drummer Richie Morales. True to its title, "Escapado" bounces along with an effervescent joy, while "Pomp" evinces a more sinuous approach, adding to the cumulative momentum of Opus, even as it provides a necessary change of pace.

There is some sense Al Di Meola is repeating himself to a certain extent on this record, but that is his intent, at least in part, so the concept imbues his prodigious technique with a purpose. The hint of steel drums on "Insieme" also offsets the impression of overly familiar territory: the combination of rhythm and melody freshens an indirect but nonetheless palpable evocation of the classic Elegant Gypsy (Columbia, 1977). "Rebels" continues in that vein, again with the formidable participation of Roig and Morales, so that Opus ends on an affirmative note echoing long after the authoritative conclusion.

Track Listing: Milonga Noctiva: Wandering in the Dark; Broken Heart; Ava’s Dream Sequence Lullaby; Cerreto Sannita; Notorious; Frozen In Time; Escapado; Pomp; Left Unsaid; Insieme; Rebels.

Personnel: Al Di Meola: acoustic and electric guitars, electric bass, drums, percussion, additional orchestration; Richie Morales: drums; Kemuel Roig: piano, keyboards; orchestration: Dario Eskenazi: orchestration.

Title: Opus | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: Sheer Sound

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

CD/LP/Track Review
  • Opus by Doug Collette
SoCal Jazz
CD/LP/Track Review
Live Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
DVD/Film Reviews
Read more articles
Opus

Opus

Sheer Sound
2018

buy
Elysium

Elysium

Inakustik
2015

buy
Pursuit of Radical Rhapsody

Pursuit of Radical...

Telarc Records
2011

buy
 

World Sinfonia -...

Audio Fidelity
2011

buy

Related Articles

Read Return to the Future CD/LP/Track Review
Return to the Future
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 17, 2018
Read Telepathy CD/LP/Track Review
Telepathy
by Chris Mosey
Published: November 17, 2018
Read The Whole Thing Is Just There CD/LP/Track Review
The Whole Thing Is Just There
by John Bricker
Published: November 17, 2018
Read Haydn: Symphony No. 39, Symphony No. 87, Mozart – Sinfonia Concertante CD/LP/Track Review
Haydn: Symphony No. 39, Symphony No. 87, Mozart –...
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: November 17, 2018
Read Rogue Star CD/LP/Track Review
Rogue Star
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 17, 2018
Read Out in the Open CD/LP/Track Review
Out in the Open
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 16, 2018
Read "Sunshine In My Head" CD/LP/Track Review Sunshine In My Head
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 14, 2018
Read "Turned into Lemonade" CD/LP/Track Review Turned into Lemonade
by Matt Hooke
Published: September 2, 2018
Read "NPO Trio - Live at the Stone" CD/LP/Track Review NPO Trio - Live at the Stone
by Troy Dostert
Published: May 10, 2018
Read "Good Music" CD/LP/Track Review Good Music
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 18, 2018
Read "Your Queen Is A Reptile" CD/LP/Track Review Your Queen Is A Reptile
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 14, 2018
Read "Mandala" CD/LP/Track Review Mandala
by Samuel Stroup
Published: December 20, 2017