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Al Di Meola - Elegant Gypsy CD (album) cover


Al Di Meola


Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.26 | 891 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars It is short, but it is easily my favourite jazz-fusion record and the best guitar driven solo effort. I give it five stars not only because it is a masterpiece, but also because it would really appeal to prog fans. Why? Because of the musicianship!!!!! All the musicians in this record are at least excellent (pay close attention to the drummers), and Al Dimeola is a guitar God. Most of the songs are in fast tempos and have plenty of solos.There is also an epic,althrough a bit short, to satisfy fans of long duration songs. I couldn't believe this was sitting on the shelf until I listened to it on August. (my father dislikes this album (and jazz- fusion in general) I just couldn't believe my ears when I heard it for the first time!

Note : This album is instrumental.

1. Flight Over Rio : Probably the best song in the album. I say probably because the album itself has this amazing quality of musicianship, technique, and songwriting. The song begins with a slow guitar riff, builds up in a jazz-fusion rhythms, and explodes in an accelerated musical nirvana in which a synthesizer and a guitar duel each other. Do you remember Wakeman and Steve dueling on the 2004 Yes tour? That's nothing compared to this!!! The song continues in a latin rhythm with latin percussions (kind of Santana-like) and finishes in the same way it started. 10/10

2. Midnight Tango : This is another song with latin touches in its percussion and rhythm. However, it is fusioned to jazz with amazing results. The guitar is absolutely phenomenal here and the keyboard behind that guitar (jazzy) gives what the song needs to sound with perfection. There is also a distorted guitar (or bass) riff that really shines. After some great soloing, another fabolous riff melts you, gives you a thousand goosebumps, and floors you. I just can't believe how powerful the music in this CD really is! The song ends with a good drum duet which wasn't really necessary (but it does not really hurt the quality of the song) 9.5/10

3. Mediterranean Sundance : This is a song in which guitar virtuoso Paco De Lucia harmonizes his acoustic guitar with Meola's one. The song sounds almost like flamenco with its extremely fast acoustic guitar playing style. This is one of my father's favourite songs of all times and I see why : try to find an accelerated acoustic song with this quality. It is a flawless showcase of Meola's talents. 10/10

4. Race With Devil On Spanish Highway : The song begins with a fast bass riff riff played with latin percussions and is sometimes interfered with lighting speed guitar runs. After that section is over, the music is more relaxing and is led by a guitar solo. The bass playing in here is pretty good and loud. The next sections involved in extremely fast drumming and riffing until a beautiful leaping guitar lick begins what is known as a masterful guitar solo. After that is over, the song takes yet another shift with similar riffs and themes but in different rhythms and continues to shift back and forth with noticeable differences and more guitar soloing until it ends with a fadeout. This has to be the most dynamic and unpredictable song on the record and a beautiful one, even if it is not a highlight of the album. 9/10

5. Lady Of Rome Sister Of Brazil : An acoustic track that lets you room to breath before you get to the epic (The most challenging song of the album). This little piece is outstanding and is as good (if not better) as Horizons from Genesis. 9/10

6. Elegant Gypsy Suite : This song may be prog rock/jazz because of the creativity, strangeness, length, style, and technique. The beginning of the track is majestic a bit playful, and obviously very complex. The riffs are very weird and interesting here, as well as the guitar sounds produced with whatever pedals he had used. After a riff repeated a big number of times, the song transform into an atmospheric section in which an amazing (and extremely strange) synthesizer solo dominates for over a minute and leave you surprised a synthesizer can sound so GOOD! The song later gets very jazzy and continues with more unusual riffing that sound very good and interesting after repeated listens. I especially love that muted guitar riff that occurs after a heavy riff somewhere close to the end of the song. The song ends very unexpectedly, but it is a good ending. 10/10

Stop reading and get this album!!

My Grade : A

Zitro | 5/5 |


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