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Jazz Fusion & Jazz Rock - Released March 13, 2020 | earMUSIC

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With his new album Across the Universe that has just come out, Al Di Meola reminds us of his passion for The Beatles. Like 2013's All Your Life before it, this record is entirely dedicated to the Fab Four, with covers of hits (Strawberry Fields Forever, Hey Jude, Yesterday) as well as less well-known hidden gems (Julia). The album cover is also a distinct nod to John Lennon's solo 1975 album Rock'n'Roll: a well-rounded homage. In amongst all the various tributes to The Beatles nowadays, this one is extremely well executed, namely because Al Di Meola stays himself from start to finish. Jazz fusion, flamenco, rock... it's all in the mix. His legendary talent beautifully complements the melodic genius of the Lennon/McCartney duo. The instrumental pyrotechnics that drive Al Di Meola fans crazy are bolstered here by tablas, brass, strings and even some accordion. The only (slight) downside is that this opus focuses exclusively on ballads... we would have loved to hear this guitar hero taken on Helter Skelter or Revolution! ©️ Clotilde Maréchal/Qobuz
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Jazz Fusion & Jazz Rock - Released February 23, 2018 | earMUSIC

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The tortured artist, the virtuoso overshadowing the composer, all of this is behind him. Now 63 years old, Al Di Meola presents Opus, a first in many respects. Probably annoyed to be seen as nothing else than an artificer on the guitar, the American from Jersey City wants to remind everyone that he’s also a top-tier composer. An ambition he combines with a new personal situation. “This album marks a new era in my life, explains he who topped the charts in 1980 with Friday Night in San Francisco in a trio with his colleagues Paco de Lucia and John McLaughlin. For the first time in my life, I have written music being happy! Until now I’ve always been this cliché of the tortured artist who can only write in a very tense context… But now, I’m in a wonderful relationship with my wife, I have a baby girl and a beautiful family that inspire me every day. I believe it shows in my music.” And Opus indeed exudes serenity. In the richness of its sound, in the multiple colours of melodies, but also in the spaces and silences he inserts in his music, Al Di Meola sculpts simple and beautiful music, in which no filler is ever present. Smooth but not plain, here is an album that will delight his most faithful fans. © Clotilde Maréchal/Qobuz
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Jazz - Released November 19, 1991 | earMUSIC

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Jazz Fusion & Jazz Rock - Released September 13, 2013 | earMUSIC

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Jazz - Released July 20, 2018 | earMUSIC

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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. © Clotilde Maréchal/Qobuz
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Jazz - Released August 13, 1991 | earMUSIC

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Jazz - Released June 3, 1994 | earMUSIC

Al di Meola's passion for the acoustic guitar has not diminished his love of electric music. Upon collaboration with Gibson, the Al di Meola Jazz Guitar was issued. In stark contrast to his customary Les Paul, this guitar is a large hollow-body similar to an L-5. The jazz guitar allows di Meola to achieve a warmer tone; however, he seemed to be going through a Pat Metheny stage at the time of this recording. The upside is that di Meola's solos combine his remarkable control with a newfound sense of swing, the downside being that he seems to have lost some of his identity. "Chilean Pipe Song" stands as one of di Meola's most memorable compositions. The supporting cast of Mario Parmisano and Peter Erskine greatly enhance the music, as each is a distinguishable and tasteful musician. Erskine particularly shines on "Summer Country Song." The one burner here is "Casmir," a fast-paced tune reminiscent of the Elegant Gypsy days. "On My Own" features di Meola's debut on piano. It is by no means anything spectacular, but it does reaffirm his continued exploration and growth. The strong playing and quality of the compositions make this recommended despite the Metheny flavorings. © Robert Taylor /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1993 | earMUSIC

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Jazz Fusion & Jazz Rock - Released February 14, 2020 | earMUSIC

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Jazz Fusion & Jazz Rock - Released January 17, 2020 | earMUSIC

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Jazz Fusion & Jazz Rock - Released March 6, 2020 | earMUSIC

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Al Di Meola in the magazine