Al Di Meola

From Academic Kids

Al Di Meola (born July 22, 1954) is an American jazz fusion guitarist.

Di Meola was born in Jersey City, New Jersey. In 1971, he enrolled in the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. In 1974 he joined Chick Corea's band, Return to Forever, and played with the band until they broke up in 1976.

Di Meola went on to explore a variety of styles, but is most noted for his Latin-influenced jazz fusion works. He is a four time winner as Best Jazz Guitarist in Guitar Player Magazine's Reader Poll.

In addition to a prolific solo career, he has engaged in successful collaborations with bassist Stanley Clarke, violinist Jean-Luc Ponty, and guitarists John McLaughlin and Paco de Lucía.

In the beginning of his career Di Meola was noted for his technical mastery and extremely fast, complex guitar solos and compositions, although even on his early albums, he had begun to explore Mediterranean cultures and acoustic genres like flamenco. Good examples are Mediterranean Sundance and Lady of Rome, Sister of Brazil from the Elegant Gypsy album (1976). His early albums were very influential among rock and jazz guitarists alike. Di Meola continued to explore Latin music within the jazz fusion genre with albums like Casino and Splendido Hotel. He exhibited a more subtle touch on acoustic numbers like Señor Mouse and Fantasia Suite for Two Guitars from the Casino album and on the live album, Friday Night in San Francisco.

With Scenario, he explored the electronic side of jazz in a collaboration with Jan Hammer (of Miami Vice theme fame). Beginning with this change, he further expanded his horizons with the acoustic album Cielo e Terra. He began to incorporate guitar synthesizers on albums such as Soaring Through a Dream. In the 1990s, Di Meola recorded albums closer to world music and orchestral tango than jazz.

He has continued to tour, playing in smaller venues like The Birchmere in Alexandria, Virginia. Recent concerts have included a sampling of his newer material (an engaging mix of acoustic, "distorted acoustic," and guitar synthesizer with a looser format than the songs on the early solo albums) along with a selection of electric guitar numbers from the early albums. He often closes out shows with an energetic rendition of one of his most challenging (to play, that is) pieces, Race with Devil on Spanish Highway, from the Elegant Gypsy album. Even in technical showcases like this, he combines blindingly fast scalar runs with subtle and melodic phrases.

Contents

Discography

Solo Works

  1. Land of the Midnight Sun (1976)
  2. Elegant Gypsy (1977)
  3. Casino (1978)
  4. Splendido Hotel (1980)
  5. Electric Rendezvous (1982)
  6. Tour De Force - Live (1982)
  7. Scenario (1983)
  8. Cielo e Terra (1985)
  9. Soaring Through a Dream (1985)
  10. Tirami Su (1987)
  11. World Sinfonia (1990)
  12. Kiss My Axe (1991)
  13. Orange and Blue (1994)
  14. World Sinfonia II - Heart of the Immigrants (1993)
  15. Al Di Meola Plays Piazzolla (1996)
  16. The Infinite Desire (1998)
  17. Winter Nights (1999)
  18. Flesh on Flesh (2002)
  19. Al DiMeola Revisited (2003)

Collaborations

  1. Friday Night in San Francisco (1981) with John McLaughlin and Paco de Lucía
  2. Passion, Grace & Fire (1983) with John McLaughlin and Paco de Lucía
  3. Rite Of Strings (1996) with Stanley Clarke and Jean-Luc Ponty
  4. The Guitar Trio (1996) with John McLaughlin and Paco de Lucía

External link

it:Al Di Meola pt:Al DiMeola

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