Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Al Di Meola|
Flesh on Flesh
Genres: Jazz, Rock, Metal
Ever since he burst on the scene as a teenage member of the fusion group Return to Forever, Al Di Meola has reigned as a guitar god in jazz, flamenco, and world music circles. Those genres are well represented on this dis... more »
Ever since he burst on the scene as a teenage member of the fusion group Return to Forever, Al Di Meola has reigned as a guitar god in jazz, flamenco, and world music circles. Those genres are well represented on this disc, with guests Cuban pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba, flutist Alejandro Santos, and World Sinfonia members Gumbi Ortiz (percussion) and Mario Parmisano (keyboards). While Di Meola's lightning licks are still in effect, they are tempered by Old World, classically tinged settings with a dash of '70s-style fusion. Chick Corea's "Señor Mouse" is elegantly reworked, and "Fugata" by the Argentine tango master Astor Piazzolla retains cool and complex contrapuntal lines. Di Meola plays a number of guitars on this date, from a 1958 Les Paul to an Ovation model, but it's all Al Di Meola and it's all good. --Eugene Holley Jr.
Kurt Harding | Boerne TX | 03/14/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Al DiMeola's music is hard to write about. I have had this CD for more than a year now, and still have difficulty finding the proper words to describe it. It's technical, it's virtuoso, and it's extremely intellectual. There is something about DiMeola's compositions, particularly since Soaring Through A Dream, that is almost trance-inducing.
DiMeola is far more than just another fast guitarist, he is an explorer and a genre-bending virtuoso. With Flesh On Flesh, he shows once again that he is not afraid to take chances with the music of some of the greatest modern composers of other lands. Argentine master Astor Piazzolla has been a long-time favorite of his and in addition to one of AP's compositions, DiMeola offers his interpretation of a work by the renowned Brazilian Egberto Gismonti.
I had feared, as a couple of other reviewers, that the nude woman on the cover was a device to disguise schlock within much as with DiMeola's uninspired Kiss My Axe. To my delight, it was not. The CD is jammed with great music that fills the listener with a feeling of mystic tranquility.
Some reviewers complain of a similarity to other DiMeola works. Perhaps there are superficial similarities with music he has recorded in the past, but beyond that Flesh On Flesh just adds to the catalogue of DiMeola's fine accomplishments. My favorites are the dreamy Innamorata, the Piazzolla classic Fugata, and the mellow Saffire Soleil. I also enjoy the reworking of Senor Mouse, an old standard from Al's Casino album. I am least fond of the title cut, but it does not really detract from the album as a whole.
Over all, Flesh On Flesh is an excellent album that should please most current DiMeola fans as well as attract some new ones. The four stars mean that its not among his very best, but its not at all bad. Check it out!"
Alex | Minsk, Belarus | 06/08/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Al Dimeola is a great master of guitar. He knows how to make the guitar to cry, to chat, or to sing. Does he experiment? Yes, he does. But Flesh is probably not his best recording. It weaves anxious tunes you want to move through as soon as possible, it brings no innovation and leaves no memories. The tracks do not stick together well and the last track does not round the album on high note. Rather it hangs in vague and is cut undone."
Al is playing his own style now!
D. M. Paine | Alexandria, Virginia USA | 02/12/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"With Flesh on Flesh Al Dimeola has developed his own style. Let me say a word about my approach here. Too many Amazon reviews gush all over about how great the album his, without providing context. This is written for the experienced or curious Dimeola fan, to discuss where Al has come from and where he is now.
In 1974 Al Dimeola made a big impression in the jazz-fusion world as Chick Corea's new guitarist for Return to Forever, replacing the amazing but gritty Bill Connors. With his first few solo albums in the 70's he showed good writing ability as well. But since then he has labored in the shadows of guitarists John McLaughlin and Pat Metheny, as well as his mentor Corea. In the 80's he got a bit mired in a fusion rut where speed and accuracy trumped most everything else. He tried to climb out by following Metheny's lead into Brazilian sounds, but to me it was too derivative, not quite right for Al. In the 90's he did some world music, more fusion, and more Brazilian, all excellent, but he never quite achieved a cohesive sound. The best exception to this was 1985's great, all-acoustic Cielo y Terra.
Well, I'm glad to say here that has changed. This album is a complete whole, with great playing, but more importantly, all good compositions that reflect Al's own style. Some songs are great, including the edgy intro Zona Desperata, title piece Flesh on Flesh, which runs a range of emotions as it implies, and the complex Fugata. His band supports him perfectly, not reclusive as some times past but mixed in just right. Al even has fun with Corea's Senor Mouse, funking it up a bit and curtailing the tense middle section. (Al clearly wishes he'd played with Chick for the great Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy, as this is his third song from that album.) He has less need to impress here, and just wants to play his own music for us. Keep it up, Al!