Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Meola's Delicate Power
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Meola arrived at a point of culmination with this album. The music is consistent, deliberate, and channeled with what seems to have been a kind of mid-life confindence. He does explore new methods of instrumentation as may be expected with Meola, though certainly does not go overboard musically as do some artists during periods of high creativity. He is speaking from a very deep place, and the music represents his mastery, or display of control rather, over the guitar--and the tracts both blend and emerge as an profound expression of life's more difficult sentiments--"Until We Meet Again", 1 & 2, are good examples of this, and would be all one would need to hear to understand where he was coming from, though the album is complete in this respect--every song stands as an independent expression. This was not a pure American writing this music--he allows himself to reach back into his European memory to produce something more methodic and orchestrated--the intricacies are subtle perhaps, but precise and carefully rendered for sure."
One of the most versatile players ever...
red herring | Chicago | 04/30/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I really have no idea what the other reviewers are talking about when they compare this CD to something by Metheny--one favorably, one unfavorably. To compare this to Metheny I believe demonstrates a lack of understanding of the strengths and subtleties of both artists. Their similarity is only in that they are both guitarists who often perform within the genre of "world music", while also making side-trips into jazz and other areas. Their execution, however, couldn't be more different. To clarify at the outset, I am a huge Metheny fan and have everything he's ever done with the Pat Metheny Group (his solo or duet work has been less consistent), but the PMG is nonetheless more predictable and focused than anything DiMeola does. Metheny's guitar sound is very distinctive, consistent and soft-edged and has spawned many imitators, one of whom is emphatically NOT Al DiMeola. Guitar aficionados, whether they like what he does or not, almost universally admire and respect DiMeola's technique, and he has proven to be a far more versatile player than Metheny, ranging from screaming rock to lightning-speed flamenco to sensitive acoustic and electric jazz. It is the latter two disciplines that are displayed on this disc, I believe better than most other examples of DiMeola's work. Even when playing acoustic or neutrally amplified electric, DiMeola has a subtle strength to his sound that is nothing like Metheny. The solo in the middle of the title track alone should dispel any conception of his being all about speed--it's melodic, emotional and spare, but nonetheless contains a couple of effortless flamenco runs to remind you that this is a special player you're listening to. The work on "Precious Little You", for example, is pretty straight ahead jazz, but contains periodic note combinations that are simultaneously unexpected and smile-inducing at the sheer artistry of it. "If We Meet Again" (Parts 1 & 2) is a truly amazing piece of music, and displays the wide range of DiMeola's talent all at once, the first half being acoustic and the second half electric, and you're almost not aware of the transition on the first couple of listenings. I've listened to this cut about 20 times in the last week, and each time I think it gets better.
This isn't "Elegant Gypsy", and if that's what you're after you're going to be disappointed, but you shouldn't be--you should be amazed and overwhelmed that the man who did that could also do this. It's called "artistic growth", and I believe it's a serious listener's duty to grow as well."