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Al Di Meola - Elegant Gypsy CD (album) cover

ELEGANT GYPSY

Al Di Meola

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.27 | 535 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

1800iareyay
Prog Reviewer
5 stars Al DiMeola is what so many shred metal guitarists wish they could be. He can play a ridiculous number of notes per second yet he plays with a musicality seldom rivalled by the genre he helped to inspire. Elegant Gypsy shows Al in his prime, with an intractable lineup featuring flamenco god Paco De Lucia and Mahavishnu organ grinder Jan Hammer. The result is a blazing set of fusion that is over far too soon.

"Flight Over Rio" starts off with guitar and keyboard interplay that sets teh foundation for the boys in Dream Theater to pick up a decade later. "Midnight Tango" eases off the throttle brings an island vibe with steel drums and congas. This song shows the elegant side of the gypsy. "Mediterranean Sundance" features Paco keeping pace with Al as the two play lighting-fast flamenco. "Race With the Devil on tehSpanish Highway" is the highlight of the album with a great bass part, latin rhythms and mind-blowing performances from DiMeola. "Lady Of Rome Sister Of Brazil" is an interlude that leads up to the fianle, "Elegant Gypsy Suite." Think that the album so far has been challenging? You've heard nothing yet. De Lucia and DiMeola lay down impossibly complex riffs using God knows how many effects, and Jan Hammer's solo is one of his finest performances. This epic track alone is worth the price of the album, which is nicely quite cheap.

If you are a fan of prog, fusion, or even just the guitar, get this album. Al seamlessly fuses jazz, latin music, and guitar-based rock into one of the three best fusion albums of all time (the other two being Mahavishnu's Birds of Fire and Bruford's One of a Kind). Al Di Meola is one of those rare guitarists who can both inspire players and discourage them, as the talent he displays can shame 99% of the world's guitarists.

Grade: A

1800iareyay | 5/5 |

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