One of fusion's masters of the electric guitar has returned, with a CD chock full of latin tinged jazz rockers and lovely flamenco acoustic numbers. DiMeola's mark on the fusion world is huge, from his early years with Return to Forever to the enormous catalog of solo recordings, the guitarist has inspired and influenced an army of jazz, fusion, metal, and progressive rock musicians aspiring to copy his awesome technique.
Flesh on Flesh is a welcome return to more fiery material, and combines DiMeola's aggressive, speedy guitar work with latin rhythms and arrangements. The opener "Zona Desperata" features salsa horns and percussion, complete with speed-of-light distorted electric solos and gentle acoustic passages from the guitarist. Along for the ride once again is veteran bassist Anthony Jackson, who provides rock solid bass work as well as some trademark lead lines. Other tracks like the dreamy "Innamorata" or "Meninas" show off DiMeola's tender side, as his beautiful acoustic playing trades off with the robust flute work by Alejandro Santos. Lovers of his searing electric work will really dig "Saffire Soleil", the quirky title track, or the reworking of the Chick Corea classic "Senor Mouse." While he has already covered this song once before on the Casino album, here it takes on a new life with nimble piano work from Mario Parmisano and slightly funky guitar playing from Al.
Al DiMeola's latest will no doubt appeal to guitar and fusion fans, but also those into contemporary jazz, world, and latin salsa. A very special release, from a true innovator.