Wednesday, August 10, 2016

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Al Di Meola

Artist:Al Di Meola
Song:Fantasia Suite For Two Guitars
Album:This Is Jazz 31

A while back I looked at Al Di Meola's albums with John McLaughlin and Paco De Lucia. This time I wanted to look at his early solo albums on Columbia. Di Meola is one of the most versatile and technically proficient jazz guitarists. He can play electric guitar but he prefers acoustic guitar. He was born July 22, 1954 in Jersey City, NJ. His main influence is Django Reinhardt but obviously he studied classical guitarists like Andres Segovia. After studying at Berklee in Boston, He replaced Bill Connors in Chick Corea's Return To Forever for the 1974 album Where Have I Known You Before. After three albums, Return To Forever split up in 1976. Di Meola signed with Columbia and he released his debut album Land of the Midnight Sun in 1976. Fantasia Suite For Two Guitars is from Di Meola's 1978 album Casino. Musicians are Barry Miles on keyboards, Anthony Jackson on bass, Steve Gadd on drums and James Mingo Lewis and Eddie Colon on percussion. Casino is available as a budget CD. But I recommend this comp for beginners. Di Meola was already very successful. But his success was solidified by the 1981 album Friday In San Francisco with John McLaughlin and Paco De Lucia. Di Meola also performs Fantasia Suite on that album. He also toured with Carlos Santana in 1980. Di Meola left Columbia in 1983. Since then he has recorded for Manhattan, Tomato, Atlantic, Telarc, and Concord. He currently records for the German label In-Akusitik. His latest CD Elysium was released in 2015. Di Meola is currently on tour. He still plays mostly acoustic guitar though he has returned to the electric guitar in recent years. Here's Al Di Meola with Phillippe Saisse on vibes performing Fantasia Suite on The David Letterman Show 1980.

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