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Al Di Meola - Elegant Gypsy CD (album) cover


Al Di Meola


Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.26 | 891 ratings

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Symphonic Team
4 stars Elegant indeed!

While I'm normally not a big fan of Jazz-Rock/Fusion, I tend to love Al Di Meola's music. Together with Return To Forever's Romantic Warrior and Di Meola's own Casino, Elegant Gypsy is my favourite album in the Jazz-Rock/Fusion category. These three albums are similar in several ways. The most obvious similarity is, of course, the amazing guitar work of Di Meola himself. Another similarity is that the keyboards, drums and basses are all played with enormous skill and feeling. And they are all completely instrumental albums.

Many people will inevitably think that this music is too technical and is only a way for the musicians to show off. That might be true of many albums in the Jazz-Rock/Fusion genre and perhaps some of Di Meola's other albums, but I don't think it applies to Elegant Gypsy or the other albums I mentioned above. The music is often highly complex yet somehow very melodic and accessible.

A difference between Return To Forver and Di Meola's solo works is that there are more acoustic guitars in his solo work. Mediterranean Sundance is a Flamenco inspired piece with simply awe-inspiring acoustic guitar playing. As I said, I'm not at all an expert on Jazz-Rock/Fusion, but I immediately liked this music. The problem I usually have with Jazz-Rock/Fusion is that it leans too close to Jazz and contains too little Rock influences and that the emphasis is on technical skills rather than melody and feeling. Elegant Gypsy is not just Jazz played with Rock instruments, it is rather a genuine fusion of Jazz, (Prog) Rock, Flamenco and Latin influences. In fact, this album leans more towards Latin music than Jazz, I would say.

Elegant Gypsy is an excellent addition to any Prog collection and a great place to start investigating the Jazz-Rock/Fusion genre.

SouthSideoftheSky | 4/5 |


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