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 extrremely 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!