Pursuit of Radical Rhapsody

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Alex Henderson
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 ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Alex Henderson
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: 3/15/2011
  • Label: Telarc
  • UPC: 888072328358
  • Catalog Number: 32835
  • Sales rank: 10,691

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Siberiana - World Sinfonia (8:30)
  2. 2 Paramour's Lullaby - World Sinfonia (7:47)
  3. 3 Mawazine, Pt. 1 - World Sinfonia (2:09)
  4. 4 Michelangelo's 7th Child - World Sinfonia (7:33)
  5. 5 Gumbiero - World Sinfonia (6:19)
  6. 6 Brave New World - World Sinfonia (1:54)
  7. 7 Full Frontal Contrapuntal - World Sinfonia (4:53)
  8. 8 That Way Before - World Sinfonia (3:06)
  9. 9 Fireflies - World Sinfonia (4:02)
  10. 10 Destination Gonzalo - World Sinfonia (5:17)
  11. 11 Bona - World Sinfonia (6:02)
  12. 12 Radical Rhapsody - World Sinfonia (5:03)
  13. 13 Strawberry Fields - World Sinfonia (4:11)
  14. 14 Mawazine, Pt. 2 - World Sinfonia (2:55)
  15. 15 Over the Rainbow - World Sinfonia (3:06)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Al 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
Al 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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