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Al Di Meola - Electric Rendezvous CD (album) cover


Al Di Meola


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.55 | 119 ratings

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4 stars The way I interpret this album by the time it was released it's a reincarnation of the first album "Land of The Midnight Sun" or even I can also say that it's a combination of the first two Al's albums: "Land of The Midnight Sun" and "Elegant Gypsy". My reason is simple: in terms of styles and composition this fifth studio album is similar with the first two albums with minor differences in the musicians involved. Mingo Lewis is the only musician that stayed the same from the debut album. Paco de Lucia, Jan Hammer and Anthony Jackson (playing bass guitar, not guitar) also appeared at "Elegant Gypsy" album. On compositions, Al gave chances to Mingo Levis, Jan Hammer (whom I have been familiar with his collaborative effort with Jeff Beck) and Philippe Saisse to compose one song each.

The album kicks-off with a hard driving rhythm section, mainly dominated by percussion work, "God-Bird-Change" (3:51) composed by Mingo Lewis. I think Al wanted the percussion dominated song at the intro of his album to give another texture of Al's music. And he did no wrong at all as this song is composed wonderfully with high energy and upbeat tempo. The interlude part with percussion work is really interesting.

"Electric Rendezvous" (7:47) brings back the music to Al's classic style where the jazz and rock unite in excellent composition featuring great acoustic and electric guitar work, inventive drum work by one of the best jazz drummers Steve Gadd (who also contributed to Peter Gabriel's "Up" album), dynamic bass guitar interlaced with dazzling keyboard. The song itself is rich in styles and tempo changes. It reminds me to the "Song of The Midnight Sun" from the debut album. It's really an excellent music!

If in "Splendido Hotel" there was a song titled as "Two To Tango" featuring duet work between Al on acoustic guitar and Chick Corea on acoustic piano, this albums offers "Passion, Grace and Fire" (5:34). This time, the duet is between Al and Paco on their acoustic guitar and their sounds were recorded at different channels of your stereo set. It's a wonderful duet of two guitar heroes in a great composition.

"Cruisin'" (4:16) was composed by Jan Hammer and it contains his exploration of keyboard throughout the song, augmented with guitar. The song's beat is relatively stable with minimum tempo or style changes. This song is like a break as the composition seems very straightforward and accessible to different ears, I think.

"Black Cat Shuffle" (3:00) was composed by Philippe Saisse and as it happens with previous track "Cruisin'" this one contains keyboard solo augmented with electric guitar solo. "Ritmo de la Noche" (4:17) starts off with a kind of latin music with electric guitar fills and percussion work as main rhythm section. The music produced is so relaxing with relatively simple arrangement. The organ solo during interlude is really stunning. The song turns complex and it finally returns to the intro part.

"Somalia" (1:40) is a very nice acoustic guitar outfit followed with "Jewel Inside a Dream" (4:02). This concluding track begins with an acoustic guitar work combined beautifully with keyboard in an ambient opening. The rest of the song contains great combination of acoustic guitar and keyboard.

This album should not be missed by those who like jazz/rock fusion type of prog music. Recommended. Keep on proggin' .!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Gatot | 4/5 |


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