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Al Di Meola - Casino CD (album) cover

CASINO

Al Di Meola

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.84 | 108 ratings

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SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
4 stars Fantasia album

Many would probably say that Casino is inferior to the great Elegant Gypsy album. However, after many listens over a period of several years I begun realizing that Casino is actually very bit as good, if not better than Elegant Gypsy. There are some truly great moments on Casino and the playing is, of course, excellent to say the least. Mind-boggling is more to the point. I can definitely understand those who think that this type of music is over-technical and more concerned with speed and accuracy than with feeling and melody, but this does not apply to the present work. There is indeed speed and accuracy in Al Di Meola's playing, but he also has both great musical feeling and a very good understanding of melody and composition. Indeed, the compositions are almost as complex as the playing and I think that this is a reason for why it takes some effort to get into. It requires an active listener (like most progressive music). I would even go as far as saying that Casino is my favourite album in the Jazz-Rock/Fusion category, certainly one of them anyway.

Meola's albums are often thought about as a guitar albums, but we should not forget the keyboards, basses, drums and Latin percussions which are essential to his style and equally well played and impressive as the guitar playing itself. The whole album is sonically perfect with excellent production. The Fantasia Suite For Two Guitars is an amazing Flamenco-style acoustic guitar four part composition in line with Mediterranean Sundance from Elegant Gypsy but more loaded with themes. I get chills down my spine evertime I hear this!

Like Elegant Gypsy, Casino too is an excellent album and a very good place to start investigating Di Meola and the genre of Jazz-Rock/Fusion.

SouthSideoftheSky | 4/5 |

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