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Al Di Meola

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Al Di Meola - Casino [Columbia JC 35277] (1978)

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ITEM# SR-COJC35277
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Artist:

Al Di Meola

Title:

Casino

Released: 1978
Label: Columbia
Catalog: JC 35277
Genre: World / Flamenco / Jazz
T R A C K L I S T:
01 Egyptian Danza
02 Chasin' The Voodoo
03 Dark Eye Tango
04 Señor Mouse
05 Fantasia Suite For Two Guitars
06 Casino
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Album Review

Daniel Gioffre [allmusic.com]

Following up the superb Elegant Gypsy was no mean feat, but Al di Meola gave it his best shot with the similarly styled Casino, released in 1978. Featuring a core band of Steve Gadd, Anthony Jackson, and Barry Miles (whom di Meola came up with before the guitarist was invited to join Return to Forever), the playing is sharp and fiery, matching the youthful intensity of the leader. di Meola is a good composer in the fusion idiom, and the four original compositions on Casino, although clearly bearing the mark of Chick Corea's influence, are strong. His "Fantasia Suite for Two Guitars," featuring di Meola accompanying himself via multi-tracarole_king, is beautiful and dramatic, and hints at the guitarist's later all-acoustic works such as Friday Night in San Francisco. "Dark Eye Tango" opens with a slow theme before turning into an uptempo vehicle for di Meola's darting Les Paul. In fact, it is the leader's solos that frequently prevent the Latin grooves and rhythms found on Casino from sounding stale and a bit dated. His trademark staccato phrasing and high-velocity improvisations are what is noticed upon first listen, but di Meola does have an excellent sense of phrasing that is undeniably present. Contrary to popular opinion, he knows how to use his technique to good effect. Casino is not as strong as either Elegant Gypsy or Romantic Warrior, but is nevertheless well worth picarole_king up for fans either of di Meola himself or of the entire 1970s fusion scene.


Al Di Meola - Splendido Hotel [Columbia C2X 36270] (May 10, 1980)

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ITEM# SR-COC2X36270
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Artist:

Al Di Meola

Title:

Splendido Hotel

Released: May 10, 1980
Label: Columbia
Catalog: C2X 36270
Genre: Jazz Fusion
Note: 2 LPs on 1 CD


T R A C K L I S T:
01 Alien Chase On Arabian Desert
02 Silent Story In Her Eyes
03 Roller Jubilee
04 Two To Tango
05 Al Di's Dream Theme
06 Dinner Music Of The Gods
07 Splendido Sundance
08 I Can Tell
09 Spanish Eyes
10 Isfahan
11 Bianca's Midnight Lullaby
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Al Di Meola - Scenario [Columbia FC 38944] (1983)

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ITEM# SR-COFC38944
Ratings: C=VG+; LP=NM-

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Artist:

Al Di Meola

Title:

Scenario

Released: 1983
Label: Columbia
Catalog: FC 38944
Genre: Jazz Fusion


T R A C K L I S T:
01 Mata Hari
02 African Night
03 Island Dreamer
04 Scenario
05 Sequencer
06 Cachaca
07 Hypnotic Conviction
08 Calliope
09 Scoundrel
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Album Review

Scenario is a 1983 album by jazz fusion guitarist, Al Di Meola. It furthered the musical direction that became apparent on his previous album Electric Rendezvous and saw a greater influence of keyboard player Jan Hammer on the album. Other musicians on this album include Phil Collins (drums - ''Island Dreamer)'', Tony Levin (electric stick bass - ''Calliope'') and Bill Bruford (Simmons electric drums - ''Calliope''). The Fairlight CMI was heavily used on some tracks, and is visible in the ''Sequencer'' video. [wikipedia.org]

Al Di Meola's Biography

Greg Prato [allmusic.com]

Guitarist Al di Meola first rose to prominence as a blazing jazz fusion player before his playing matured and he began to conquer other styles, such as acoustic Latin music. Born on July 22, 1954, in Jersey City, NJ, di Meola briefly studied at the Berklee School of Music in Boston during the early '70s before accepting a job replacing guitarist Bill Connors in fusion trailblazers Return to Forever (a group that included such monster instrumentalists as keyboardist Chick Corea and bassist Stanley Clarke) in 1974. It was with di Meola that Return to Forever enjoyed their greatest commercial success, as such releases as 1974's Where Have I Known Before, 1975's No Mystery, and 1976's Romantic Warrior cracked the U.S. Top 40 before di Meola jumped ship to launch a solo career.

What followed remains some of the finest jazz fusion guitar-based recordings ever: 1976's Land of the Midnight Sun, 1977's Elegant Gypsy (which would eventually earn gold certification in the U.S.), and Casino, plus 1979's Splendido Hotel. di Meola then united with fellow guitar greats John McLaughlin and Paco de Lucía for 1980's Friday Night in San Francisco. Throughout the '80s and '90s, di Meola racked up numerous accolades (including earning yearly top honors in Guitar Player magazine polls), kept on issuing solo releases on a regular basis, and played with others, including releases by Stomu Yamash'ta, Paul Simon, Stanley Jordan, and David Matthews, as well as further work with such former bandmates as Corea, Clarke, de Lucía, and McLaughlin.

During the '90s, di Meola turned his back almost entirely on fusion to concentrate more on acoustic-based world music, as evidenced by such releases as World Sinfonia, Di Meola Plays Piazzolla, and Heart of the Immigrants, among others. Since that time, di Meola has continued this eclectic alan_parsonsroach with releases like 2003's Revisited, 2006's Consequence of Chaos, 2007's Diabolic Inventions and Seduction for Solo Guitar, Vol. 1: Music of Astor Piazzolla, and 2008's live album He and Carmen with flutist Eszter Horgas. In 2011, di Meola delivered the Latin and world music-infused studio album Pursuit of Radical Rhapsody, featuring bassist Charlie Haden and Cuban pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba.
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