Al Di Meola is an elegant gypsy
Released in February 2018, Opus was a highlight in Al Di Meola’s career in many regards.
The tormented artist, the virtuoso obscuring the composer, all of that seemed to be in the guitarist’s past. To the point that at 63, he presented this disc as a premiere. Probably tired of being sometimes only perceived as a six-string pyrotechnician, the American from Jersey City wanted to remind here that he was also a high-profile composer. And this Opus indeed exudes true serenity.
In the richness of its sound, in the many colors of the melodies but also in the spaces and silences that crept into his playing, Al Di Meola shaped music filled with simple beauty and where padding has no place. Without asperities but never bland, this album satisfied his long-time fans… Five months later, the same Al Di Meola takes advantage of this clear return to grace to also remind us that the stage is his favorite playground.
With Elegant Gypsy & More Live, he gathers recent live versions, as virtuoso as possible, of his hits Race With Devil On Spanish Highway, Fight Over Rio, Midnight Tango and Egyptian Danza, but also various covers (impressive reinterpretations of Chick Corea’s Señor Mouse and Led Zep’s Black Dog!)…
In a careful blend of jazz fusion, rock ‘n’ roll and world music that he’s the only master of, John McLaughlin’s and Paco de Lucia’s former accomplice (no one has forgotten their famous Friday Night In San Francisco from 1981) makes his art shine brightly. It’s as impressive as always.
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