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

LAND OF THE MIDNIGHT SUN

Al Di Meola

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.95 | 153 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Progfan97402
4 stars I seem to remember back in 1994 (I was 21 at the time) a couple of people mentioning me Al Di Meola, but his name at the time was in one ear and out the other. It's not that I didn't want to know, it was the name was a bit difficult to remember at the time. I already knew who Chick Corea was, and I believe I just heard about Return to Forever. Of course once I actually became aware of his name, it stuck, and I was thinking that's who was being brought up to me in '94. For a while I gave up on fusion, thought it was just flash and no substance, probably because I wanted something a bit more prog leaning. But since that time I came to terms and started finding a tons of great gems. Return to Forever's Romantic Warrior was one, the first two Mahavishnu Orchestra albums, Les McCann's Openness to Invitation (even many progheads who like fusion should enjoy this one), Billy Cobham's Spectrum, Lenny White's Venusian Summer, and many more. Land of the Rising Sun is the solo debut from Al Di Meola, released right after Romantic Warrior. On this album Lenny White, Stanley Clarke, and even Chick Corea makes an appearance here, also Steve Gadd, Mingo Lewis, Alphononse Mouzon, and Jaco Pastorius, amongst others. "The Wizard" sounds like a cross between Santana and Romantic Warrior-era RTF, which is little surprise given Mingo Lewis had been a member of Santana. The title track is more or less the same, but then he diverts with the next two. "Sarabande from Violin Sonata in B Minor" which is just an unaccompanied Bach piece with Di Meola playing said piece of guitar. "Love Them From Pictures of the Sea" is a spacy number, Stanley Clarke actually provides some vocals, and one might expect some inappropriate R&B type of number, Clarke totally avoids that vocal style. "Suite - Golden Dawn" is a real highlight, with extended jamming, a bit of a Santana thing going on, with Jaco Pastorius being ever busy on his bass. "Short Tales of the Black Forest" is basically him and Chick Corea, all acoustic, no electric guitars or electric pianos here, Chick Corea providing standard piano, Di Meola providing acoustic guitar. It has a bit of a Spanish flamenco thing going on, which isn't any surprise given Chick Corea frequently recorded Spanish-influenced albums (most obvious being My Spanish Heart).

I've heard great things about this album, and I'm ever so glad to have this in my collection, it really is great.

Progfan97402 | 4/5 |

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