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Al DiMeola - Land Of The Midnight Sun CD (album) cover


Al DiMeola


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.97 | 190 ratings

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Prog 74
4 stars 1976 was a breakout year for jazz guitarist extraordinaire Al Di Meola. He had already taken the jazz-rock fusion world by storm with his fleet-fingered contributions to the excellent 'Romantic Warrior' album from Return to Forever earlier in the year, but in the fall he would unleash his debut solo album masterpiece. This album also features some of the best musicians around at the time such as Stanley Clarke, Jaco Pastorius, Chick Corea & Lenny White. "The Wizard" opens the album with a nice bass riff. Al Di Meola then makes his fiery presence known immediately after and really begins to drive this song. We are going into rock territory here. The music does have a bit of a magical atmosphere about it, which is fitting considering the title of the song. Quite proggy. The 9:00 minute title track comes next and it's rather seductive opening has a real Latin feel to it. Again excellent bass playing sets the mood right out of the gate. Di Meola plays breezy & lyrical throughout. The overall mood of the song seems somewhat at odds with the more mysterious sounding title. Di Meola really catches fire around the 7:00 minute mark and just burns his way all the way to the end. A curveball comes next in the form of Bach's "Sarabande from Violin Sonata in B Minor". However it's performed beautifully with Di Meola on acoustic guitar. "Love Theme from Pictures of the Sea" comes next and it's quite lovely. It has a nice, meditative vibe and features some trance-like vocals from Stanley Clarke and Patty Buyukas. "Suite-Golden Dawn" is next and this three part epic is the album's real highlight. Blazing electric guitar from Di Meola sets the mood with the first part of the suite. Beautiful keyboard playing from Barry Miles really gives the music a nice, proggy feel in the second part of the suite. The third part of the suite is the longest and features some real menacing guitar riffs from Di Meola and a real funky bass groove laid down by Pastorius. The somewhat frantic "Short Tales of the Black Forest" closes out the album in fantastic style. This song is a duet between Di Meola on acoustic guitar and Chick Corea on piano and it really smokes. This is an amazing album and can easily be recommended to jazz-fusion fans and progheads alike.
Prog 74 | 4/5 |


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