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SPLENDIDO HOTEL

Al Di Meola

Jazz Rock/Fusion


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Al Di Meola Splendido Hotel album cover
2.93 | 61 ratings | 10 reviews | 11% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential


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Studio Album, released in 1980

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Alien Chase On Arabian Desert (8:59)
2. Silent Story In Her Eyes (7:35)
3. Roller Jubilee (4:44)
4. Two To Tango (4:13)
5. Al Di`s Dream Theme (6:50)
6. Dinner Music Of The Gods (8:33)
7. Splendido Sundance (4:51)
8. I Can Tell (4:01)
9. Spanish Eyes (5:11)
10. Isfahan (11:35)
11. Bianca`s Midnight Lullaby (1:54)

Total Time: 68:26

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Al Di Meola / electric and acoustic guitars, mandocello, celeste (3), vocals and drums (8)
- David Campbell / violin (10)
- Peter Cannarozzi / Oberheim (2 & 3)
- Eddie Colon / percussion (1, 2, 3 & 5)
- Columbus Boy's Choir / vocals (10)
- Chick Corea / piano solo (2), piano (2 & 4)
- Steve Gadd / drums (3 & 9)
- Robbie Gonzalez / drums (1, 2, 5 & 6)
- Jan Hammer / Moog synth solo (5)
- Anthony Jackson / bass (2, 3, 5 & 9)
- Dennis Karmzyn / cello (10)
- Raymond Kelly / cello (10)
- Tim Landers / bass (1, 5 & 6)
- Mingo Lewis / syndrum percussion (3), syndrumbomb (5)
- Les Paul / guitar (9) (left channel)
- Phillippe Saisse / keyboards and marimba (1, 2, 3, 5 & 6), keyboards Moogbass and backing vocals (8)
- Carol Shive / viola (10)

Releases information

LP Sony SRCS-9384

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AL DI MEOLA Splendido Hotel ratings distribution


2.93
(61 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(11%)
11%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(33%)
33%
Good, but non-essential (38%)
38%
Collectors/fans only (16%)
16%
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)
2%

AL DI MEOLA Splendido Hotel reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Whenever this album is mentioned I always refer to two songs featured here that characterize this album: "Two To Tango" and "Isfahan". The former is basically a musical venture between two geniuses: Al Di Meola on acoustic guitar and Chick Corea on acoustic piano. When I remember the first time I listened to this song, it grew very slowly to my listening pleasure as I was at that time more into rock music than jazz/rock fusion kind of composition. The more I spun the CD the more I felt attached with all chords and notes produced by Al and Chick - it's so terrific. The song is performed with minimum number of instruments but it produces great harmony between these two instruments from start to finish. For me, the sound of acoustic piano played by Chick always creates great emotion even on his jazzy style like in "The Mad Hatter" album. "Isfahan" uniqueness appears vividly through the eastern nuance produced by the music which comprises Al's work on acoustic guitar, mando-cello interlaced with harmony produced by violin, cello and piano. The Columbus Boychoir work strengthens the eastern nuance. The song moves quite slowly and it gives a music very rich in textures and nuance.

It's too simplistic saying that only these two songs worth listening as the opening track "Alien Chase On Arabian Desert" (8:59) gives us a treat of heavy jazz/rock fusion which in a way similar with the style of Return To Forever. The long stunning electric guitar solo has enriched the composition. You may compare this with a song "Compadres" featured in Chick Corea's "Touchstone" album. Yes, it's basically that kind of music. I love this track personally because it has frequent tempo and style changes. The following track "Silent Story In Her Eyes (7:35)" is another good one to observe and enjoy as it demonstrates Meola virtuosity even though through this track it is shown quite modestly. "Roller Jubilee" (4:44) has a pop music style with jazz through Al's acoustic guitar work combined with marimba.

"Al Di`s Dream Theme"(6:50) starts off quite simple with a medium tempo and guitar fills as opener. But at minute 1:18 the song turns into a high energy and faster tempo outfit with stunning electric guitar solo accompanied with excellent rhythm section dominated by drums, percussion and keyboard. The fast speed guitar work by Mr. Meola is very unique and brings the music into upbeat tempo and frequent tempo changes accompanied by keyboard work. It flows to the next track with a faster tempo: "Dinner Music Of The Gods" (8:33). This track is my best favorite one from this album. It has a complex arrangement and frequent and dynamic tempo changes with electric guitar / keyboard solo harmony. It's really a great track!

"Splendido Sundance" (4:51) demonstrates excellent acoustic guitar solo work with different style at left and right channels. Excellent composition. "I Can Tell" (4:01) is the weakest part of this album as it deviates from typical AL's work - it's a poppy R&B song. "Spanish Eyes" (5:11) has relative stable tempo featuring guitar fills. "Bianca`s Midnight Lullaby" (1:54) concludes the album with AL' acoustic guitar solo work.

Al Di Meola's early works are so unique that whenever you knew the style, you can identify any other song you had never heard before - especially the way he plays the guitar. In my opinion, there is no guitar player that plays similar to Al. You still can enjoy this style through this album as many songs show the style I'm referring to. This is an excellent addition to any prog music collection. Keep on proggin' .!

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Send comments to Gatot (BETA) | Report this review (#53639) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, October 27, 2005

Review by philippe
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Content Development & Krautrock Team
3 stars Along with « Elegant gypsy » and « Casino », « Splendido Hotel » represents Meola's music at its best with a colourful sound, a melodic blend of Latin music and fusion jazz. However this one stays the least inspired from what I call the "trilogy"; there is an overused of soft, light and old dated synth arrangements here (notably the second part of the album). "Alien Chase On Arabian Desert" starts with supernatural Sci Fi sounds rapidly followed by an Arabian exotic and mysterious theme with Meola's typical guitar playing signature. Acoustic melodic parts are mixed with raging, technical electric passages. As usual the atmosphere is in perpetual changes, from fast to slow, from luminous to dark. A catchy composition. "Silent Story In Her Eyes » is a peaceful, melodic acoustic ballad, very jazzy and Latin. "Roller Jubilee » is a disconcerted composition made of soft guitar parts: banal in the extreme and a bit ridiculous. "Two To Tango » is a fascinating, dynamic track which perfectly illustrates the communication between two dancers of Tango, very precise, rhythmical with achieved melodies. "Al Di`s Dream Theme » is a musical trademark, combining various aspects of Tango performed with electricity, jazzy based guitar touch dialoguing with synth sounds. A rather calm piece before the powerful "Dinner Music Of The God"; a heavy, epic and furious composition, the best one on this album. The conjunction between the different ideas is perfectly executed. After that, the machine breaks down into pretentious, laughable sounds. Check "I Can Tell" and the classical imitation of "Isfahan". There is no room of doubt, if you are a beginner you should go on "Elegant gypsy" and "Casino" first, then try "Electric Rendez-vous" and this one.

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Send comments to philippe (BETA) | Report this review (#59316) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Review by The Owl
PROG REVIEWER
1 stars When this sprawling magnesium opus was first unleashed circa 1979, I approached it with some trepidation, unfortunately, that trepidation proved very well founded. Simply put, this was one of the most ponderous, pretentious, egocentric and overblown things I ever heard in my life! And this coming from a person who LOVES good fusion, progressive rock and adventurous music in general! Albums like this were what gave fusion a bad name in some people's minds towards the end of the 70's.

From the rather excessive fussed-with music-math to the equally ridiculous and over- long "Thank You" section in the liner notes (he stops just barely short of thanking the trees for producing the paper that this was printed on and the rubber plants for the vynil et al), it's painfully clear that Al DiMeola wants you to pay attention to him and fall down and worship him wether he actually has something to say or not. Is there no end to this man's ego and overblown self-importance?

The music? On the whole, it seems Big Al is trying to cover a wide variety of bases, some of his own choosing, and one OBVIOUSLY of the record company's ill-conceived marketing tragedy (yes, it's a deliberate substitution on my part for the word "strategy"), "I Can Tell", a soulless pseudo-soul tune on which Big Al proves to the world at large that William Shatner can outsing him (at least Shatner was FUNNY and ENTERTAINING!). The only humor comes on the fadeout when Al smashes an exaspirated power-chord as if to say, "Can you please shoot me now?". There's a pleasnat enough duet with Les Paul ("Spanish Eyes"), a bizarre post-disco dance tune called "Roller Jubilee" and the usual pseudo-flamenco workouts, nothing really new otherwise.

Elsewhere, it's pretty much a repeat of previous Al D outings, very calculated, mathematical textbook exercises lacking in any real soul or passion, long on excessive speed guitar wankery and arbitrary start-stop stuff but VERY short on real musical substance. Even Chick Corea's "Isfhan" fails to spark any interest, attempting to conjure up sonic images of ancient Persia and all.

Big Al D is, if nothing else an accomplished TECHNICIAN, but as far as being able to play musically and with real soul, he falls far short of his comtemporaries like John McLaughlin (who has a FRIGHTENING amount of musical depth), Allan Holdsworth, Larry Coryell, Philip Catherine and Pat Metheny among others.

Want fusion with REAL musical substance? Look elsewhere.

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Send comments to The Owl (BETA) | Report this review (#114575) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, March 08, 2007

Review by b_olariu
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars This is my first jazz album that i bought 15 years ago. Then i don't knew to much about jazz, just a fiew names and maybe some pieces i hered on radio. But with time i descovered that this style of music can be very complex and virtuos, but can be boring too. So Al DIMeola became now one of my fav jazz musicians. I do consider that Elegant gypsy is the best Meola album, and one of the best in jazz, but this one still keep the flag high in jazz- fusion. So i rate it 4 stars, because on Spendido hotel are 3 tracks that are simply superb and flawless in terms of virtuosity and dexterity of the musicians, Alien Chase On Arabian Desert - trully a masterpiece, Al Di`s Dream Theme - just listen the bass lines, super and Dinner Music Of The Gods- again super. I don't think is a bad album, in fact is really great jazz-fusion album. I don't give 5 stars, because is some fillers here like Spanish Eyes and Roller jubilee. Along with Elegant gypsy, Splendido Hotel represents Meola's music at its best with a colourful sound, a melodic blend of Latin music and fusion jazz. 4 stars

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Send comments to b_olariu (BETA) | Report this review (#125662) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Review by Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk
2 stars 2.5 stars really!!!

ADM's fourth album was a double album, but only containing a meagre 60 minutes of music, was supposed to be an ambitious departure of style compared to his first three solo efforts. In a sense, SH accomplishes that, straying from his usual sound, and losing himself a bit in the process as well, IMHO! Not only does ADM seem to touch a bit of everything, but due to the album's "double" offering (although it's more like 1,5) but also diluting his "propos" way too much. In a way, he (ADM) was right to try to change because his constant drive to fame, glory and prizes & awards and his quest to become the fastest guitarslinger was verging the ridiculous, culminating in his sorry performance, crushed by the two giants McLaughlin and DeLucia in that San Francisco album.

Offering much variety through his acoustic playing and his fierier electric playing, this album dishes every single possible style of DiMeolized music, from the most attractive jr/f he had us used to, the FM Steely Dan-esque fusion to the tackiest muzak with some overdrawn string sections passages and other semi-Latino influences. This huge mish-mash pot pourri of such distant styles is downright directionless, purposeless and frankly more boring than anything else. Sure, there are the odd bits of ADM brilliance (but nothing new under his Midnight Sun) that stop this album from sinking/stinking such as Dinner Music Of The Gods or the title track. On the whole, this album makes me yawn much more than smile, and even when the second option is there, I'm not sure it is the way Al would've hoped for.

This then-young fan must say that, by the time of this album's release, he had almost turned his back on ADM and his supposedly Latin lover romantic looks and musical pretensions and shoddy artwork to go along, but then again in 79-80, it was that whole JR/F scene that had lost all impetus and momentum and was starting to sound horribly cliché, but ADM was at the head of the pack, leading the race towards senility and reaping nothing but cold shoulders, devoid of the expected laurels and award medals to cover them up. For unconditional fans. .

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#140590) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Review by obiter
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars This is an album capable of inducing a searing headache as the listener tries to come to terms with the

Al Di Meola's style is unique: like the vocals on Jon Anderson, you either love it hate or ignore it. The playing is extremely fast and accomplished. It just seems to lack any soul.

the opener Alien Chase On Arabian Desert is meant to be a classic. Jazz, Rock Drums, driving beat. This just comes nowhere near the mark for me. Much better wait for the advent of Joe Satriani, Steve Vai and Ed Wynne. The playing all seems too sterile; too Tony McAlpine.

Having said that there are moments which buck the trend. There is the pleasant Camberwick Green song: Bianca`s Midnight Lullaby. Isfahan has many pleasant interludes but I wish someone had just flicked the mute switch in the recording booth while smiling at Di Meola and giving him a big thumbs up saying: yeah keep on going Al another 5 more minutes of self-indulgence would be great, while taking orders for coffee and donuts and listening to Elegant Gypsy.

Technically superb, soulless, and sterile - collectors and fans only.

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Send comments to obiter (BETA) | Report this review (#161448) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, February 10, 2008

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Team
2 stars After three very good albums, Al Di Meola seems to have run out of steam for this fourth effort. It is not too surprising that Di Meola ran low on musical ideas since his previous albums were packed full of them. But he could at least have showed enough good judgement not to release a double album at this point in his career. Yet that is exactly what he did (the awful Works Vol. 1 by ELP is a good reference point for worst possible timing to make a double album). In his defence this is rather short for a double album. However, Di Meola did show some good judgement in changing his style a bit after three quite similar albums. It probably would have been impossible to top Casino and Elegant Gypsy with another album in a similar vein. Splendido Hotel is different in many ways. The music here is smoother and slicker than on the three earlier albums, the tempo is generally much slower and there is not much left of the sheer intensity and urgency of Casino. There are occasional outbursts of his typical energy, but overall Di Meola takes a much more laid back stance for this album. Splendido Hotel is definitely less progressive and elaborated than his earlier albums. The third track is really something that might be played on repeat in the lobby of a holiday hotel. Banal is the word.

Acoustic instruments are very prominent on much of this album and not only acoustic guitar but also acoustic bass, percussion and piano. There are even strings on some songs. The electronic keyboards generally take a backseat if they are present at all. Much of the music is of a slightly relaxing nature. Even the up tempo numbers has a somewhat relaxing feel. Especially compared to things like Egyptian Danza or Race With Devil On Spanish Highway. Alien Chase On Arabian Desert and Dinner Music For The Gods are clearly modelled on such older tracks. But they are less intense and less memorable, as are the compositions on Splendido Hotel generally.

I Can Tell stands out from the crowd by being the only vocal number on the album. It is a very slick Pop tune with both male and female vocals. Is it Al himself doing the male vocals? The eleven minute Isfahan contains a boy's choir, an abundance of strings, some grand piano and acoustic guitar. The tempo is very slow and the mood is mellow. While quite symphonic there is no question of this being remotely close to Symphonic Prog. Despite being both eclectic and sometimes symphonic, there is very little Prog on Splendido Hotel.

We should admire Di Meola for branching out and trying out new things, but overall this album is not very successful. It is a sprawling collection of more or less average compositions, recommended only to fans and collectors.

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Send comments to SouthSideoftheSky (BETA) | Report this review (#201059) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, January 29, 2009

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars After perfect first three solo albums, Al Di Meola recorded this double LP. And please note - it's not the same music you loved before!

Album begins with perfect technique but pale melody and mathematically cold "Alien Chase On Arabian Desert". From that song name yuo expect not only some oriental melody, but warm southern emotions. No way! If after trying hard you can find some formal oriental contest there, zero emotions are added. It reminds me professional mechanic work on German car factory: all things are screwed according to high technical standart but are totally soul-less ( as any VW Golf, you know).

It's pity but things aren't much better when you go deeper. There are few good songs , performed more or less at the same vein as on three previous albums ( but without any improvments or inventions). But bigger part of the album is eclectic collection of ... whatever you want! You can find there some light entertainment jazzy pieces ( as are played in your summer holiday dinner's restaurant near southern sea), a strange synth-pop composition ( which is absolutely out of place there), more experiments mainly with light pop-synth-jazzy sound.

"Isfahan" is complex sympho-latino suite with chorus ,violins added . Some Chick Corea piano and even veteran Les Paul guitar in one song doesn't helps. Album in total sounds as very eclectic collection without any idea or direction. Few strong songs are missed between plenty of very average or even worse.

I think, it's a first album in ADM solo career showing some decrease in his bright musical start. It's pity, but it's far away not the last one.

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Send comments to snobb (BETA) | Report this review (#242255) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, October 01, 2009

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JazzRock/Fusion Teams
3 stars This album was the first I ever owned by Al Dimeola as a solo artists, so even though it is a very uneven album, it hold a place in my heart.

Alien Chase On Arabian Desert is one of my favorite Di Meola fusion pieces. It's everything a good fusion song should be, technical and exciting, and full of twists and turns. This one does not let you down. Silent Story In Her Eyes is more like what Di Meola has been recording for years, nice spanich guitars and a pleasant melody. After the excitement of the first song, this is a good breather.

Roller Jubilee is the first real letdown of the album. A disco beat pumps behind a nicely played, but sort of bland melody. Two To Tango is just what it sound like, a tango duet - with Di Meola and Chick Corea. Al Di's Dream Theme, even though Corea doesn't appear on it, it sounds like a Corea tune.

Dinner Music Of The Gods is a strong driving piece, and with that title it had better be. And it's breathtaking. And to gain back your breath, Di Meola follows it with Splendido Sundance, a Spanish acoustic duet with himself. I Can Tell is one of those bland, light fusion pieces that record company executives love. Interesting note: Di Meola sings lead vocals on this. He's not bad, but the song is highly forgettable.

And speaking of fogettable, there's the bland dinner music of the classic Spanish Eyes. An appearance by Les Paul saves this from being a total waste. Isfahan is a dreamy, Middle-Eastern classical-based piece by Corea. It's acyually quite nice. The album closes with Bianca's Midnight Lullaby, a light classical guitar piece.

So while there is definitely some filler on this double album, there is still enough good material to earn it three stars.

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Send comments to Evolver (BETA) | Report this review (#305310) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, October 18, 2010

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5 stars Everybody says that "Elegant Gypsy" is best Meola's album. I really don't think so. I think his first five albums are exceptional, including "A Friday Night in San Francisco". This album is much longer than the previous cds and a lot of important artists colabore with Al Di Meola in this album. Al ... (read more)

Report this review (#138538) | Posted by Guilleguns | Sunday, September 16, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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