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Al Di Meola - The Best of Al Di Meola: Manhattan Years CD (album) cover


Al Di Meola


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.53 | 7 ratings

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3 stars I was quite familiar and loved the music of Al Di Meola in the beginning of his career with albums like Elegant Gypsy, Land of the Midnight Sun, Splendido Hotel, Casino, Electric Rendezvous. But after he released Scenario (1983) I did not follow through his works. I think Scenario was not good as Al Di Meola's album. SO I considered a waste of money to collect another album of Meola. This is the best of Al di Meola's years with the Manhattan label, which only included three releases: Cielo e Terra, Soaring Through a Dream, and Tirami Su. The era that I did not have any single album of the mentioned three - so I cannot compare this compilation from the studio albums.

The music presented here is somewhat good as for me it's like a return to his music after not monitoring closely his works. Of course I do not expect this compilation would be in the style of his previous works - to be precise his early career as solo artist. The tracks offered here are basically easy listening jazzy tracks with his unique guitar style. The first two tracks July (5:25) and Traces (Of a Tear) (7:50) flow easily. The third track with vocal line Maraba (5:11) is a good one as I enjoy the unique classical guitar work by Meola. The one that reminds me to the roots of Meola's music is Song to the Pharoah Kings (8:44) - where I can have beautiful combination of piano and guitar work. It's really an excellent music. Etude (7:01) demonstrates Meola's nice guitar solo. Rhapsody of Fire (5:03) reminds me to his work in Splendido Hotel. Coral (3:17) is another guitar solo (acoustic). Beijing Demons (6:22) is a fusion music with big band (brass section). Ballad (5:00) is a mellow track with good piano and guitar work performed in relatively slow tempo.

Overall, it's a good compilation even though it lacks energy. It's suitable to those who love jazzy style. You should not expect things like Land of The Midnight Sun from this compilation. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Gatot | 3/5 |


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