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Al Di Meola

Guitarist Al di Meola first rose to prominence as a blazing jazz fusion player before his playing matured and he began to conquer other styles, such as acoustic Latin music. Born on July 22, 1954, in Jersey City, NJ, di Meola briefly studied at the Berklee School of Music in Boston during the early '70s before accepting a job replacing guitarist Bill Connors in fusion trailblazers Return to Forever (a group that included such monster instrumentalists as keyboardist Chick Corea and bassist Stanley Clarke) in 1974. It was with di Meola that Return to Forever enjoyed their greatest commercial success, as such releases as 1974's Where Have I Known Before, 1975's No Mystery, and 1976's Romantic Warrior cracked the U.S. Top 40 before di Meola jumped ship to launch a solo career.

What followed remains some of the finest jazz fusion guitar-based recordings ever: 1976's Land of the Midnight Sun, 1977's Elegant Gypsy (which would eventually earn gold certification in the U.S.), and Casino, plus 1979's Splendido Hotel. Di Meola then united with fellow guitar greats John McLaughlin and Paco de Lucía for 1980's Friday Night in San Francisco. Throughout the '80s and '90s, di Meola racked up numerous accolades (including earning yearly top honors in Guitar Player magazine polls), kept on issuing solo releases on a regular basis, and played with others, including releases by Stomu Yamash'ta, Paul Simon, Stanley Jordan, and David Matthews, as well as further work with such former bandmates as Corea, Clarke, de Lucía, and McLaughlin.

During the '90s, di Meola turned his back almost entirely on fusion to concentrate more on acoustic-based world music, as evidenced by such releases as World Sinfonia, Di Meola Plays Piazzolla, and Heart of the Immigrants, among others. Since that time, di Meola has continued this eclectic approach with releases like 2003's Revisited, 2006's Consequence of Chaos, 2007's Diabolic Inventions and Seduction for Solo Guitar, Vol. 1: Music of Astor Piazzolla, and 2008's live album He and Carmen with flutist Eszter Horgas. In 2011, di Meola delivered the Latin and world music-infused studio album Pursuit of Radical Rhapsody, featuring bassist Charlie Haden and Cuban pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba. ~ Greg Prato, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

Sweet version of IF I FELL !!!!!
Lush sound & beautiful articulation X
No mystery had a profound impact on my my musical taste.
Damn, dude!
Elegant Gypsy one the BEST
wish i had a Elegant Gypsy :(
Forgot how much I enjoyed his music. Sold/gave away all my albums a couple of years ago when I moved. I guess I'm going to rebuy his stuff on Itunes/Pando r a .
I LOVE AL! got to meet him 10yrs ago in Cleveland and I told him we share the same birthday july 22nd (plus we are both Italian and guitarists). And he said beautiful day man, beautiful day. right smack dab in the middle of summer! I said yeah! I play your song July every Bday! and he laughed. I then hung around and watched him while he was signing autographs and I think he thought I was stalking him or something cuz he looked at me and gave me a look like why are you still standing here.
He's good - but he's no Paco ...
Elegant Gypsy! way to go Al! sure learn some tips and leaks from your pal Paco.
I used to own this album. I may still have it sitting in a box in the basement...
Gotta be the descendant of Andres Segovia !!!
What a rarity! Many blisters on those fingers!
He also played with Jean Luc Ponty and Stanley Clarke in Rite of Strings. Great stuff. I think he was featured on another JLP album but I can't remember which on off the top of my head.
IF you like Al Do Meola search out his music on other out lets because Pandora is incomplete on most great guitarist like Michael Hedges, Jimmy Vaughn, Steve Khan and so on.
Better then McLaughlin. much cleaner and precise playing and execution of ideas. they are both great in different ways.
Wow. His playing on a piece that came up on Pandora demanded that I find out who this guy was; what fire and breathtaking speed! The only other guitarist I have heard who parallels him is John McLaughlin.
First time I saw Al was 1978 at Long Beach Arena. He and his band breathed fire.
Long time fan of this master player. Saw him w/Chick Corea RTF many decades ago. Benn in love with his playing ever since.
Ya rcollier306 ! I have the album from that and it's totally outragious. Whaddah tour de force. I luv the Pink Panther trick on the audience. DMB
Used to think Mediterranea n Sundance was the best song ever recorded....
Seen him 6 times live and all performances have been extraordinar y
rcollier306
saw him w/mclaghlin, l u c i a , s a t u r d a y n i g h t in ny when that was recorded
Only ONE Al DiMeola . . . unique guitar work.
seifantastic o m a u r i z i o g e r b a s i .
geman
The fastest and cleanest sounding and that was at age 19!
gs3215
Where is his first LP Land of the Midnight sun ?
The great thing about DiMeola is his reinvention of a common theme. Mediteranean , World and the Americas. What fun we've had enjoying his spirit. Thank you.
This man plays with passion, grace and fire. Too many people leave out fire. That's a shame. Al is incendiary. A regular pyro. Love it still after all these years.
rotaryturbo2
Al is great the best guitar player i have ever heard,since high school
I first heard of Al in 76 I was in high school. Then saw him in person, great just great. Lost track of him till now with Pandora
kmiller6667
I love him....thoug h t i was back in Madrid...
lorilowe420
saw al with the rite of strings(jean luc and stanley)..fa n t a s t i c !
been a fan for years, talented guitarist but was dissapointed in the man when I met him in person
rocky_b67037
The "Youtube" video of the three playing together is worth watching if you have not seen it, it's very good, been liking AL for awhile.
geman
I saw Al with the trio of Paco DeLuca and John Mclaughlin. A young looking Skynard chap came out with just his acoutisic guitar for the opening act. Any guesses???
geman
Hey Carlos extremely good?????? Who before Al at age 19! could play for Chick Corea? Maybe Steve Morse?
I saw Al the first time at Santa Monica auditorium summer 1980. Extremely good guitar player.
I have known Al's work since Friday Night in San Francisco... a true master of his craft. I saw Return to Forever, roughly a year ago in Portland. An amazing performance, but very difficult to follow compared to his contemporary music. Corea, Clark and Lenny White on drums...SPEC T A C U L A R ! !
logbuilder45
A true master of his craft.
Mr. DiMeola's "abandonment " of fusion was based, at least in part, on his developing tinitus, which was exacerbated by the volume of a full-fusion show. While he, like fellow fusion guitarist, John Mclaughlin has developed a full reportoire of musical styles, each still demonstrate some of the best fusion chops in town, when they are so inclined.
l_yeatts
Love this!
jyniguez
Saw him in '76 with the greatest RTF line-up ever (Corea, White, & Clarke). Think Al was 19. Numbing how great they all were.
yolo40
Saw return to forever for the Romantic Warrior tour. Corea,Clarke , L e n n y White and Al. There is to this day NO music ever recorded with such talent.
Few like this guitar master. Listen to Etude... the teaching tools... pretty awesome session studio guitarist as well. Had the opportunity to see a live concert in Carbondale Ill. - acoustic set from World Symphonia - awesome. -Jeff
letsgofly
What an amazing and diverse career! He has such range and variety in his music. If you like shredding, 70's electric fusion, acoustic trios, tango (Piazzola is a huge influence), or even some pop, he has something for you!
Legend.
I bought the CD: TOUR DE FORCE - LIVE. I MISPLACED THE CD. OUTSTANDING LIVE ALBUM. IT COST ME 3,500 YEN IN 1980. I WISH IT WAS LISTED. THANKS.
Great music, fantastic talent.
The Best of the best.
kmay63
The fastest I would have to agree. Loved Casino..
geman
Hi Guys, Let me tell ya a little story, Back in 1983 I went to see Paco, Al, John M. A skinny long blonde hair kid walked on stage as the warm-up. It was just him and a acoustic guitar. Some yelled Skynard. After playing for 45 minutes the whole audience stood with their mouths open Guess who? Steve Morse. He later came out and played with the Trio. Makes want to quit playing your instrument!
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