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Al DiMeola - World Sinfonia: Heart Of The Immigrants CD (album) cover


Al DiMeola


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.28 | 26 ratings

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3 stars A wizard of the World

The musical career of Al Di Meola is a diverse one. Heart Of The Immigrants is the second album out of three that he made as part of his World Sinfonia project and it is a surprisingly enjoyable effort with lovely guitar work in interesting musical contexts. This is not progressive Rock and neither is it by any means Jazz-Rock like his early solo albums or his work with Return To Forever. Indeed, this is not any kind of Rock at all. But it is surely "progressive" in some sense and Jazz is indeed one of many different styles involved here. You could perhaps call this World Music or World Fusion as implied by the title of the project, but I don't think that quite captures what this music is about. Di Meola blends different styles, primarily different Latin styles such as Tango but also Classical music which makes him sound a bit like Steve Hackett (another one of my favourite guitar heroes) on the latter's Classical albums. The music here is mostly calm and soothing, but there are several outbursts of fast and intense guitar playing and some dramatic changes.

The guitars are all acoustic but the album as a whole is not entirely acoustic as there are some keyboards in the mix too. Other prominent instruments are bandoneon (Spanish accordion?) and strings. There are vocals on one track, but the rest of the album is entirely instrumental apart from some discrete word-less vocalizations on several tracks. A few of the pieces here are by tango master Astor Piazzolla, while others are Di Meola compositions.

This kind of music might not appeal to all fans of progressive Rock, but for anyone with a taste for Latin guitar styles and virtuoso acoustic guitar playing this is highly enjoyable and quite original. One possible criticism of this album is that it is too long. Some moments towards the end do sound like just more of the same and the impact of the album as a whole would be greater if some tracks were cut.

Still, this is a good but hardly essential album

SouthSideoftheSky | 3/5 |


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