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Al Di Meola - Al Di Meola Project: Kiss My Axe CD (album) cover


Al Di Meola


Jazz Rock/Fusion

2.50 | 42 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars When I first listened to Al DiMeola's solo albums from the 1970s I was impressed by Al's technique, and his music gave me a lot of pleasure, but it never ever moved me. Not one single bit. Al was a guitar 'wunderkind' who seemed to lack emotional maturity - understandable when you consider how young he used to be.

When I saw the rave reviews KISS MY AXE received, I decided to give DiMeola another chance. I must admit I was impressed. KISS MY AXE's opening tunes still didn't bode well: I thought they were run-of-the-mill late-eighties/early-nineties fusion with a "world music" flavour, and with synths that by now (we're in 2007 as I write this) sounded frightfully dated.

But the album's title tune took my breath away with its subtle electric guitar playing. This was Al, but not as I had known him! Did he experience some serious loss, was he deeply in love, had he finally grown up or what WAS it? In any case, his music reached greater depths than before. To top it all, he led the piece towards a rocking, truly exciting climax.

Further proof of Al's newly found maturity could be heard in 'One Night Last June' and 'Global Safari', where the playing was once again superb. Was this man expressing pain or pleasure? I couldn't tell but he really astonished me, and to top it all, a certain Barry Miles provided some masterly solos on grand piano!

The album's final track is entitled 'Oriana (September 24, 1988)'. I don't know who the lucky lady is, or what sort of occasion Di Meola is referring to, but here too, the music sounds exquisitely tender.

As you may gather from this album's title and cover picture(s), early 1990s DiMeola still enjoyed striking sexist poses - just like his younger incarnation. KISS MY AXE's probably features his silliest sleeve art ever. But the music is a different kettle of fish. It makes me wonder what he's been up to in the past fifteen years or so...

Recommended to everyone who enjoys gorgeous guitar playing. Close your eyes and enjoy. Rating: Three and a half stars.

fuxi | 3/5 |


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