Those who follow the guitar world are likely to be familiar with Al Di Meola, either from his stint with Return to Forever
or his own,four-decade solo career. As wide-reaching as the possibilities of his fretboard, from electric jazz fusion to acoustic world music, Di Meola has built a reputation as a fantastic guitarist. Unencumbered by any particular genre, he remains true to form on Pursuit of a Radical Rhapsody
; his exciting Pat Metheny
-meets-Joe Satriani-meets-Andres Segovia style in full display in this collection of mostly original songs.
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).
Year Released: 2011
| Record Label: Telarc Records
| Style: Beyond Jazz