Pursuit of Radical Rhapsody

Pursuit of Radical Rhapsody

by Al di Meola
     
 

Al Di Meola has enjoyed an impressively long career as a recording artist. The guitar virtuoso was only 22 when he recorded his first album as a leader, Land of the Midnight Sun, back in 1976 (although he had joined Chick Corea's Return to Forever at 19), and a 56-year-old Di Meola was still going…  See more details below

Overview

Al Di Meola has enjoyed an impressively long career as a recording artist. The guitar virtuoso was only 22 when he recorded his first album as a leader, Land of the Midnight Sun, back in 1976 (although he had joined Chick Corea's Return to Forever at 19), and a 56-year-old Di Meola was still going strong when 2011 arrived. Di Meola's playing has evolved along the way; the shredding, intensity, speed, and pyrotechnics of his early albums were replaced by a more lyrical and introspective approach that shows some awareness of Pat Metheny yet is distinctively Al Di Meola. But one thing about the guitarist that hasn't changed is his affection for world music, which was a major influence on early albums such as Land of the Midnight Sun, Elegant Gypsy, and Casino, and is also a strong influence on his 2011 release Pursuit of Radical Rhapsody. This excellent album is jazz-rock fusion, but it is also world jazz; Di Meola maintains a decidedly international perspective throughout the CD, incorporating everything from Argentinian tango to Spanish flamenco to Middle Eastern and North African music. Afro-Cuban salsa is also part of the equation, and two of Di Meola's guests are people with definite Latin credentials: bassist Charlie Haden (let's not forget Haden's Revolution Music Orchestra of the '60s and '70s, or the boleros he played on 2000's Nocturne), and Havana-born pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba. The Afro-Cuban influence is especially strong on "Gumbiero" and "Destination: Gonzalo," although "Gumbiero" also incorporates flamenco and tango elements. Most of the material on Pursuit of Radical Rhapsody was composed by Di Meola himself, but two exceptions are the Beatles' "Strawberry Fields" and Harold Arlen's "Over the Rainbow." And Di Meola, behaving like the jazz improviser that he is, genuinely interprets those well-known popular songs and brings something personal to the table instead of playing the type of lame, note-for-note covers that smooth jazz (which Di Meola has adamantly stayed away from) is infamous for. Granted, Di Meola is by no means a jazz purist or a straight-ahead bebopper; he never claimed to be Barney Kessel or Tal Farlow, but his mentality is very much an improviser's mentality, and that mentality serves him consistently well on Pursuit of Radical Rhapsody.

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Product Details

Release Date:
03/15/2011
Label:
Telarc
UPC:
0888072328358
catalogNumber:
32835
Rank:
42199

Tracks

  1. Siberiana  -  World Sinfonia
  2. Paramour's Lullaby  -  World Sinfonia
  3. Mawazine, Pt. 1  -  World Sinfonia
  4. Michelangelo's 7th Child  -  World Sinfonia
  5. Gumbiero  -  World Sinfonia
  6. Brave New World  -  World Sinfonia
  7. Full Frontal Contrapuntal  -  World Sinfonia
  8. That Way Before  -  World Sinfonia
  9. Fireflies  -  World Sinfonia
  10. Destination Gonzalo  -  World Sinfonia
  11. Bona  -  World Sinfonia
  12. Radical Rhapsody  -  World Sinfonia
  13. Strawberry Fields  -  World Sinfonia
  14. Mawazine, Pt. 2  -  World Sinfonia
  15. Over the Rainbow  -  World Sinfonia

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

di Meola   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Percussion,Electric Guitar,Keyboards,Group Member
Peter Erskine   Drums
Gonzalo Rubalcaba   Piano
Barry Miles   Keyboards
Mino Cinelu   Percussion
Charlie Haden   Acoustic Bass
Gumbi Ortiz   Percussion,Group Member
Gergely Kuklis   Violin
Fausto Beccalossi   Accordion,Group Member
Gyula Benkö   Viola
Gábor Csonka   Violin
András Sturcz   Cello
Victor Miranda   Group Member
Péter Kaszás   Percussion,Drums,Group Member
Kevin Seddiki   Guitar,Group Member
Sturez String Quartet   String Quartet
Viktor Uhrin   Violin

Technical Credits

John Lennon   Composer
Paul McCartney   Composer
Barry Miles   String Arrangements
Harold Arlen   Composer
di Meola   Arranger,Composer,Producer
Frank Filipetti   Engineer
Katsuhiko Naito   Engineer
Michael Page   Art Direction
Paul Blakemore   Mastering
Spyros Poulos   Engineer
Gary Casson   Business Consultant
Roy Henderson   Engineer
Róbert Balázs   Engineer
Csaba Tóth   Engineer
Claus Altvater   Executive Producer

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