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Al DiMeola - Orange And Blue CD (album) cover


Al DiMeola

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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4 stars Come on people! This is a great album by an excellent guitar player and composer. I can't believe that no one has given a review of this album. But I am glad to have the honor of being the first. I have to say that I'm more surprised that so little people have reviewed Elegant Gypsy, his best work (which people have seemed to recognize at least). This album is more mellow but in no way is it weak. After all, Elegant Gypsy is one of my favorite albums of all time (and I have at least 90 of the top 100 prog albums listed on this site) and, otherwise, is recognized as a great among jazz fusion. However, I picked this album to review out of all of his more recent work because I think it's one of his better albums that has simply gone unrecognized by the people of this forum. I suppose that Al doesn't qualify as prog by most but if you are a fan of fusion/world style superb guitar and composition, this album is something you should check out. 4.33/5.00
Report this review (#86511)
Posted Thursday, August 10, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars Yet another album containing great guitar playing from Al Di Meola. Unfortunately, that fact isn't coupled with the most interesting song writing. Orange and Blue feels very much in the same vein as Di Meola Plays Piazzolla, but a portion of the material is a bit weaker. The album is fairly uneven - only about 1/3 of the songs here could be considered better than average (but not necessarily much better) - and the tracks blend together by the second half of the album. An alternate album would be preferable to this one, unless you are a fan or can find it for a bargain price.

About 2.75 Stars

Report this review (#157162)
Posted Sunday, December 30, 2007 | Review Permalink
Prog Folk Researcher
4 stars What a difference a few years makes! Al Di Meolo is back with a vengeance on this 1994 studio release featuring his best world-music fusion since 1990’s ‘World Sinfonia’. Guest musicians include the multi- talented Greek George Dalaras, Peter Erskine, bassist Pino Palladino, and Israelis Achinoam Nin (Noa) with her luscious vocals and string player Simon Shaheen among others. And a first (for me at least) with Hernan Romero sporting a double-neck charango. If I count right that’s 20 (count ‘em) acoustic strings being picked by one man. Cool stuff!

The tracks here were all composed by Di Meolo himself with the exception of “Theme of the Mother Ship” which was primarily written by Chick Corea with help from Di Meolo on the finishing touches. This is a much more vibrant recording than most of rest of his eighties and early nineties work, and the ethnic touches are more prominent than anything he’d done in a decade with the exception of the ‘World Sinfonia’ album.

There’s not much actual lyrical singing here, but Shaheen and Noa provide plenty of tasteful chanting and wordless accompaniment on most of the tracks. Di Meola focuses his efforts on acoustic guitars (with plenty of overdubbed tracks on most of the songs) as well as some Latin percussion. Mario Parmisano employs a Steinway upright to great effect throughout, and especially on “Chilean Pipe Song”, “Summer Country Song” and the two-part “If We Meet Again”. The most Latin-flavored track is probably the soft acoustic guitar-focused “Precious Little You” with its light and ambient percussive treatments and soft bass. Unlike the earlier ‘Kiss my Axe’ or ‘Scenario’ though, Di Meolo manages to evoke real emotion in this and the rest of the compositions on the album.

The lineup is superb, the variety closer to what we’ve come to expect from the master of world jazz/ fusion, and the engagement of Di Meolo himself in the mood and vibrancy of each track is consistent and apparent.

This isn’t a masterpiece by any means, and Di Meolo hasn’t really had one of those in many years. But it is an extremely well-constructed and engaging body of work that merits a listen by fans of the genre as well as those who are looking for a taste of what Al Di Meolo has to offer. If you’ve never heard the man start with ‘Elegant Gypsy’, but after that this wouldn’t be a bad follow-up to add to your collection. Maybe a bit high at four stars, but not unduly so.


Report this review (#161415)
Posted Saturday, February 9, 2008 | Review Permalink
Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
2 stars This is almost a good album.

For the most part, this album is very light fusion. The performances are fine, one can never fault Al Di Meola's playing, but the songs are nearly all very close to elevator music. Here and there a touch of excitement finds it's way into the arrangements. The opening track, "Paradisio" has a very good break section, but then tempers down when it gets back to the main theme. "Chilean Pipe Song", an unimaginitively named song, features Di Meola playing a synth with a patch that sounds like Chilean pipes, an overused synth patch in 80's and 90's uninspired light jazz and new age.

There are some high points, however. "Theme of the Mother Ship", co written with Chick Corea, and "Casmir" are both very good fusion songs that almost make this one worth the price of admission.

2.5 stars.

Report this review (#228777)
Posted Tuesday, July 28, 2009 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Al Di Meola plays world fusion. His guitar work is as good as usual, but has no big possibility to realise it's potential on such musical material. Great drumming as well. Some Mediterranean motives sounds nice, but are too faceless to be remembered after listening.

All music sounds very competent, but whenever it is light mix of world melodies and some lounge jazz ,very polished and prepared for pleasant relaxed listening, don't expect to find here even a touch of experimental sound. Just quality music for relaxed listening.

Around 2,5.

Report this review (#260892)
Posted Friday, January 15, 2010 | Review Permalink

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