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Al Di Meola - Electric Rendezvous CD (album) cover


Al Di Meola


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.53 | 73 ratings

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2 stars Di Meola returns to a smaller format.

After his ambitious double album, Splendido Hoteland live album Friday Night in San Francisco the fusion wizard strips back his cast, song length and compositional scope for the more straight forward Electric Rendezvous.

By 1982 he'd been playing with most of his band for a fair while (Gadd, Lewis and Jackson for five albums with Hammer appearing on several dates at least) and it sounds as though the writing and execution of the songs comes easy. And if not too easy, it still results in a record that plays it too safe, perhaps keeping it conservative after the mixed results that his double album seemed to elicit. The pieces here are classic Di Meola, which is part of the problem and part of what is welcome. There are no big risks but there are some great songs, like opener 'God Bird Change' or the title track with its prominent keys and almost threatening guitar, which is followed by another excellent collaboration between Di Meola and flamenco star Paco de Lucía, on 'Passion, Grace & Fire.'

Elsewhere there is some fairly slick pop from 'Crusin'' and the dated synths of 'Black Cat Shuffle' and the by now perhaps obligatory slow tango-esque piece - 'Ritmo De La Noche.' It's followed by a short acoustic piece and 'Jewel Inside a Dream' which is a ballad backed by warbling keys.

It's a highly uneven effort, but still classic fusion, even if the genre's heyday was some years behind by now. Collectors of Al will want this for the opening three songs alone, but if you're new to Di Meola you will be better served by any of his first three, or the live 'Friday Night...' if you enjoy fast acoustic guitar.

dreadpirateroberts | 2/5 |


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