Al Di Meola – Pursuit of Radical Rhapsody (2011)

I love from time to time to listen to Dizzy Gillespie, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Stan Getz or Astrud Gilberto, but honestly, I’m not an “expert” in Latin jazz. I was just a boy when I heard “Alien Chase On Arabian Desert” and maybe “Splendido Hotel” (1980) it’s not the best moment of Al Di Meola, many people says there he goes commercial, but I still love that song and if it comes to jazz/fusion, I think it’s a standard. But I have to admit it, I didn’t follow closely Al Di Meola’s career. Following “Splendido Hotel” there was the famous “Friday Night in San Francisco” with John McLaughlin and Paco de Lucía, but still, I kept an eye almost exclusively on Mr. McLaughlin works. But since 1974 Al Di Meola constantly working, writing, playing music and this is the 23th solo album of the 56 years old guitarist who also plays keyboards, drums, percussion, cello and sing vocals.“Pursuit of Radical Rhapsody” opened my taste to dig back and listen his previous releases “Diabolic Inventions And Seduction For Solo Guitar” (2006) and “Consequence of Chaos” (2006).
Legendary world class musicians including Charlie Haden, Cuban piano wizard Gonzalo Rubalcaba and former Weather Report drummer Peter Erskine joined Al Di Meola to produce “Pursuit of Radical Rhapsody” and we’ve got 15 tasty songs, an exciting journey into different corners of the world and music blended with that Latin taste jazz. I mean it’s pretty charming to hear Arabic drums mixed up with kind of Parisian chansons. This album is still on the path of jazz-rock fusion, but it’s also world jazz. Al Di Meola maintains a decidedly international perspective throughout “Pursuit of Radical Rhapsody”, incorporating everything from Argentinian tango to Spanish flamenco to Middle Eastern and from North African music to Afro-Cuban salsa. Most of the material was composed by Al Di Meola himself, with two exceptions, there’s two nice re-interpretations of   “Strawberry Fields” (The Beatles) and “Over the Rainbow” (Harold Arlen).
Al Di Meola’s partners for this musical and spiritual trip were: Kevin Seddiki on guitar, Fausto Beccalossi on accordion, Barry Miles on keyboards, Peter Kaszбs on drums and percussion, and Gumbi Ortiz on percussion. Al Di Meola performed on acoustic guitar, electric guitar, keyboards and percussion.
I’m getting old or something, but it was a nice surprise. 🙂

Al Di Meola – Official Site

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