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Dimeola, Al: Diabolic Inventions and Seduction for Solo Guitar, Vol. 1- Music of Astor Piazzolla

Al DiMeola truly embodies the stylistic idea of "Ethnic-Jazz." He effortlessly carries the whole world with his 2 hands and can meticulously define cultural milieus with only a 3 octave interval span. On this recording he delves into the sonic expanse with sound-complexes that are rich in timbre, with a high degree of musicality, creating something gorgeously lyrical. My inner critical nature was soothed by these lush forays into a sound--almost erotic. Sometimes gentle as a heartbeat ("Poemo Valseado"), mysterious as the guest--uninvited--that earns his right to stay ("Tangata del Alba"), or a performance—not always tonally-- that is slightly whimsical ("Milonga Carrieguera"). It wouldn't be fair to select a favorite because all of the compositions are endearing and tonally rich; with a minimal amount of percussion supporting them. Actually, any more is unnecessary. Dimeola's flamenco guitar (mostly, nylon-string) conveys the rhythmic implication through his dynamic playing and the additional use of djembe skins and cahon add some sensuality through their life affirming pulse.

The sound of the CD is almost a vinyl experience. There is a full (almost analog) style sound that has very thick and warm tones (just listen to him strum the octaves in "Romantico") that only reveal themselves as "slightly" over compressed (when pushed) on the best of stereo systems. There is still a considerable "ceiling" and a lot of natural movement in the acoustics, with thresholds set responsibly enough to still allow transients to get through. The kind of percussion used certainly needs to be able to "sit" in the mix properly and this is my guess for not going all natural. Anyway, this, for the most part, is not going to be an issue with most people and certainly is only a "minor" point and should not be construed as criticism.

This is one of the best recordings in DiMeola's catalog and an extremely heartfelt & profound tribute to Piazolla; someone who has helped him procure additional musical inspiration to a --seemingly-- unexpendable musical source. Hopefully, there will be many more volumes to follow.

Track listing
1. Campero
2. Poemo Valseado
3. Tangata del Alba
4. Adios Nonino
5. Tema de Maria
6. Milonga del Angel
7. Romantico
8. Milonga Carrieguera

Added: November 14th 2007
Reviewer: Hugh Dark
Related Link: Al DiMeola Website
Hits: 2583
Language: english

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Dimeola, Al: Diabolic Inventions and Seduction for Solo Guitar, Vol. 1- Music of Astor Piazzolla
Posted by Steve Fleck, SoT Staff Writer on 2007-11-14 09:31:38
My Score:

A new Al DiMeola, for those of you acquainted with the likes of the ripping jazz-rock fusion of early Return To Forever, or Elegant Gypsy. Of course, since the 1980's, the new DiMeola has been slowly taking shape, mostly distancing himself from what made him famous—shredding complex guitar fusion. On his latest solo effort, a very personal tribute to the late Argentinian tango composer and classical guitarist Astor Piazzolla, DiMeola gets even further away.

But that's what accomplished musicians like DiMeola do—they can't stagnate or play what they did when they were 22. This latest set really is technically well-put together, just not my particular cup of tea. The non-varying arrangements and constant nylon stringed finger picking can lull you right into a trance; it's the perfect compliment to another activity. I like a bit more peaks and valleys in my music (especially from DiMeola) but this CD will no doubt hit it's mark with some.

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