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Al Di Meola

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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Al Di Meola The Infinite Desire album cover
3.27 | 41 ratings | 4 reviews | 12% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1998

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Beyond the Mirage (7:18)
2. Shaking the Spirits (6:30)
3. Vizzini (4:54)
4. In My Mother's Eyes (Memory of Theresa) (4:41)
5. The Infinite Desire (5:26)
6. Invention of the Monsters (7:18)
7. Istanbul (8:00)
8. Azzura (2:55)
9. Big Sky Azzura (6:07)
10. Race with Devil on Turkish Highway (4:03)
11. Valentina (4:44)
12. The Infinite Desire (vocal) (5:27)

Total Time 67:23

Line-up / Musicians

- Al Di Meola / electric & acoustic guitars, Roland VG-8 guitar synth (synthesized tamboura, trumpet, accordion, organ, fretless bass & vocals effects), GR-30 synth (8), acoustic bass (11), 10-string harp (7), percussion & cymbals (2,12), marimba (3), producer & arranger

- Oriana Di Meola / solo & chorus vocals (2)
- Layla Francesca / vocals (2)
- Pino Daniele / vocals (12)
- Steve Vai / electric guitar (10)
- Rachel Z / piano, keyboards, programming & sound design
- Mario Parmisano / piano (6,8,9), synth (8), keyboards (6,9)
- Herbie Hancock / piano solo (7)
- Kabuli Nitasa / violin & vocals (1)
- John Patitucci / acoustic (4,5,12) & electric (1) basses
- Tom Kennedy / acoustic bass (3,6,8,9)
- Peter Erskine / drums (3,7)
- Ernie Adams / drums (6,9)
- Gumbi Ortiz / congas (1,7)
- Spyros Poulos / programming & sound design

Releases information

Artwork: Andrea Vizzini painting

CD Telarc - CD-83433 (1998, US)

Thanks to avestin for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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AL DI MEOLA The Infinite Desire ratings distribution

(41 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(12%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(34%)
Good, but non-essential (32%)
Collectors/fans only (17%)
Poor. Only for completionists (5%)

AL DI MEOLA The Infinite Desire reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Flucktrot
3 stars You'd think having an infinite desire would lead to captivating, passionate, and/or original music. Unfortunately, Al di Meola's Infinite Desire is anything but.

That being said, there is still plenty of quality di Meola guitar to go around, with just enough variety in tempos, rhythms, and extra touches (such as violin and sitar effects here and there) to hold your interest. Sure, you won't find the energy or bombast of di Meola's fusion heyday, but the guy still delivers some gorgeous guitar in his signature effortless style.

The strongest pieces are not surprisingly the extended ones. The opener, Beyond the Mirage, features some great combinations of staccato and elongated rips, tastefully played over congas. Istanbul is also a highlight, with plenty of tasty piano fills and sitar effects, as well as a number of extremely fast and clean riffs from di Meola. There is certainly no doubt as to whether he can play fast relative to his younger days! In the Azzura songs, di Meola applies this style to a jazzier number over growling bass, and is largely successful here too.

Unfortunately the album contains a number of forgettable moments. Nearly half of the songs (Valentina, Vezzini, In My Mother's Eyes, etc) are mellow, fairly lazy tunes that can become boring fairly quickly. Of course they are performed well, but I need more energy and progression. Even the title track fits this mold, though here you'll find a stronger melody, as well as a particularly enjoyable guitar countermelody. Those familiar with di Meola's fusion days perusing the track list will quickly be drawn to Race with the Devil on a Turkish Highway--a nod to the breakneck Spanish highway version on his Elegant Gypsy masterpiece. I suppose the major conclusion to be drawn is the racing on a Turkish highway sounds a lot like racing on a Spanish highway, except noticeably slower and with some Arabic wails. I think I'd rather race on the Spanish highway...

By now di Meola fans know pretty much what to expect: lots of Latin-influenced, guitar-driven, instrumental music. With Infinite Desire, di Meola has thrown in just enough Arabic and African influences to keep things interesting, but this is far from his best work in the fusion days.

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This AlDiMeola album is far from the electric fusion of his early years. But anyone interested in his career know, that starting from his Sinfony years AlDiMeola changed the direction quite radically.

Is it bad or good? I believe that electric fusion fans prefer his early albums ( me too), but from another hand, time is changed. So, AlDiMeola tryed some different dirctions, and this album is really not bad ( between them).

First of all, the team of musicians are great: Herbie Hancock on piano,John Patitucci on bass, Steve Vai on electric guitar all are of highest level. AlDiMeola plays electric and acoustic guitars,percussionist Gumbri Ortiz from ADM project World Sinfonia is presented as well. So, technically music is of high standard.

Now about music. It is big variety of styles between latin-jazz, world music, pop-jazz and classic. Happily, DiMeola plays not only acoustic, but electric guitar as well, and all album's sound is 50/50 acoustic/electric. It helps to run from monothonic sound of purely acoustic albums. In combination with quite different tempos and melodies, the album is really pleasant for listening.

For me there are too much world music and not enough jazz complexity. So common sound is too commercial. But when that team of musician play, even quite commercial music could be pleasant for listening.

So, 3,55 - because of great musicianship.

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
2 stars My desire for Di Meola's music is hardly infinite

Infinite Desire is an album that mixes World Music with Al Di Meola's virtuoso guitar playing. Unlike his World Sinfonia project, the present album is not acoustic. We get both electric and acoustic guitars here, and as always with Di Meola they are played exceptionally well. He also has many other musicians backing him up on piano, keyboards, bass, drums and different percussions both acoustic and electronic. Some passages sound a little bit like Mike Oldfield but with more energy and intensity and more Jazz influenced. There are many good moments and Infinite Desire is partly an enjoyable listen. However, it is not memorable and as a writer Di Meola is not always successful in my opinion. And with a running time of over an hour, it is very hard for him to keep this listeners attention. Compared to many of his albums from the 80's and 90's, the present album is an improvement. But he did much better albums both before and after this one.

One track is a revisit to the classic Race With Devil On Spanish Highway, but here it is called Race With Devil On Turkish Highway. I must say that I very much prefer the Spanish highway over this Turkish one! The mystery guest is Di Meola's guitar colleague Steve Vai, but (for better or for worse) his presence is not that evident.

There is no doubt that this is a high quality recording by a very professional musician that I admire, but I cannot recommend the present album to anyone other than his fans and collectors.

Review by Matti
4 stars The American jazz/fusion guitarist and composer Al DiMeola seems to get the best PA ratings for his earliest albums from the latter half of the 70's. I'm familiar with only a small bunch of his albums, and less so with the early ones. Anyway, I quite enjoy this particular album with a rather lukewarm reception here.

The contributors pretty much vary from track to track, keyboardist Rachel Z clearly being the most consistent one. Al himself uses a great variety of instruments on this electric and accessible album entirely composed by him. 'Beyond the Mirage' is a very nice opener. There's a shadow of digitally programmed over-production in sight, but due to rich and energetic playing full of fine, fast melodies the outcome stays positive. The next, mellower piece has some world music flavour and reminds me of Pat Metheny, my fave jazz musician.

Overall there is plenty of sonic and atmospheric variety, and while some tracks out of twelve may not be so interesting, and some are perhaps slightly too long, the 67 minutes mostly go very pleasantly. Unlike another reviewer, I generally enjoy the peaceful compositions such as the romantic title track and the brief, acoustic 'Azzura'.

On the aptly titled 'Race With Devil on Turkish Highway' DiMeola gets into an el.guitar battle with Steve Vai. Things like that keep the more energy-favouring listeners awake. The cool trumpet samples on 'Valentina' are by DiMeola. Tha album closes with a vocal version of the title track, sung by Pino Daniele. My biggest complaint concerns the sound of programmed percussion which is too much present. Drummers Peter Erskine and Ernie Adams appear only on two tracks each. But despite that I warmly recommend this album to listeners of guitar oriented fusion and artists such ad Pat Metheny.

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