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Al Di Meola - Tour De Force: Live CD (album) cover


Al Di Meola

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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5 stars Jazz, rock, fusion --it doesn't get any better than this. Satriani, Vai, Hoey can all bow to the Masters. This album is a world-tour of hard, fast, intricate, heart-pounding effluence. Every song is a delight. This album will take you to Morocco, Rio, Mexico, and blaze through a desert road at 250 miles an hour. This is a live production with John McLaughlin, Paco de Lucia, and Al Di Meola all playing electrics, each building upon each other's solos until they are all three playing the same thing, differently and harmoniously in a mad rush to the finish line. The winner? -- YOU!
Report this review (#58031)
Posted Saturday, November 26, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars For a live album I believe this to be a masterpiece, it's the same band who played on Electric REdezvous, really fun music with bags of energy. I don't thinkthey ould play at a higher level of jazz fusion.


Report this review (#60250)
Posted Tuesday, December 13, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This is an excellent live performance by the guitar master Al Di Meola whom I knew for the first time through his excellent performance with Chick Corea's Return To Forever with Lenny White and Stanley Clarke. This live recording is full with dynamic and powerful song with stunning guitar work by Al. "Race With The Devil On Spanish Highway" shows how speed guitar playing can contribute excellent composition of this track. I especially like on segments performed relatively complex followed up with harmonious works between guitar and bass (played by Anthony Jackson). Jan Hammer, whom I knew the first time through his collaborative work with Jeff Beck, contributes his dynamic keyboards to accentuate the performance of the song. Steve Gadd - the great drummer in jazz who also helped Peter Gabriel's studio album - as usual plays unpredictable drum beats through his toms and snares. "Elegant Gypsy Suite" is taken from the album with the same title and is performed excellently by the band. I really enjoy the speed guitar playing by Al Di Meola that characterizes his style. Through this live set AL Di Meola has proved that his virtuosity was not only writing and playing the music at the studio but he can also deliver the music live with an excellent performance. I hope Al also included "Land of The Mignight Sun", but it's not.

It's an excellent addition to any prog music collection - especially for those who like a fusion of jazz and rock music. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Report this review (#75763)
Posted Friday, April 21, 2006 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Team
3 stars No advantage

I have two live albums by Al Di Meola, this one and Friday Night In San Francisco (which is a collaboration between Di Meola and Paco De Lucia and John McLaughlin). The two albums are pretty much each others opposites. While Friday Night In San Francisco was all an acoustic album featuring only the three guitarists with no other musicians backing them up, Tour De Force is a full on band performance. This means lots of drums, percussion, keyboards and bass guitar, all excellently played. That alone makes this album a lot more progressive than the San Francisco album. However, a combination of the two - an album showing both the electric side and the acoustic side of Al Di Meola would have been far more interesting, giving us a full picture of the guitarists (early) career.

The running time of this whole album is only just above 39 minutes and I am certain it does not feature a full show. This is in fact a similarity between this album and Friday Night In San Francisco which was even shorter than this. I think this could have been much longer and feature a full show. I have no idea what other songs featured in Di Meola's repertoire at that time, but I would have liked more material from Elegant Gypsy and Casino as well as something from Land Of Midnight Sun and maybe even a couple of Return To Forever cuts. But after all it is not fair to judge this album by what is not here. What actually is here is very good! But it cannot replace or better the studio albums in my opinion.

The pieces chosen for this live album were taken from the studio albums Elegant Gypsy, Casino and Electric Rendezvous with two numbers not available anywhere else (that I know of) - Nena and Advantage. Everything is excellently performed here, but the two new compositions do not leave any lasting impression on me. They are good, but not good enough to make this album essential for these numbers alone.

There are some passages in the Elegant Gypsy tracks that are radically different from the original versions and this is indeed interesting, but still these differences are primarily for Di Meola's fans to appreciate.

Tour De Force is a very good (albeit too short) live album, but not an essential one. I say start with the studio albums, especially the excellent Casino and Elegant Gypsy albums. If you already have some or all of Di Meola's early albums, this live album does not bring you very much extra. But it can be very enjoyable still.

Report this review (#200747)
Posted Monday, January 26, 2009 | Review Permalink

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