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All things DiMeola


Billster

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I just dropped a suggestion in the Editors forum about an Oeuvre Easy feature on DeMeola. Heres a guy with a diverse career.

 

Ive been listening to various DiMeola lately, and as much fun as it is to poke at his obvious clichés, I have to admit his influence. I have a different melodic sense, but his arrangements and compositional forms are always spot on.

 

The early period with Return to Forever and his initial solo albums, just blazing on the guitar. Yes, best taken in limited doses. I can see Chick Coreas influence on his arrangement techniques listen especially to Chick Coreas Elektrik Band, and see where the techniques are similar, but the instruments different.

 

The acoustic Trio with McLaughlin and DeLucia, again has lots of fireworks, but its leavened by the contrasting styles of the three guys. This will come full circle in my opinion see below.

 

The middle period solo albums, implementing guitar synths and cleaner sounds. He got some grief during this time that it wasnt as incendiary as his early music, but what the hey big deal. I see them as transitional.

 

The World Sinfonia and the Piazzola albums are his best work in my opinion. Its just fully integrated. His monster technique serves the music, not vice versa, which is often one of his flaws.

 

His recent solo albums are more fully integrated as well, but the last three or so all sound the same. The tunes dont seem as distinctive to me as his early electric albums, but that may be my different melodic sense coming into play.

 

On a personal level, the cliché stylizations in the promo photos and album art are just too much for me not to poke fun at. :P

 

:blah:

 

Discuss

 

:snax:

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Tour De Force was one of my first fusion albums.

 

I love this album and all his earlier work.

 

I am totally unfamiliar with him beyond the tour de force album however...

 

He did a remake of "Race with the Devil on Spanish Highway" with Steve Vai....loved it.

 

 

Rob Robitaille

 

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Elegant Gypsy and Casino are my favorite albums. That "Snoring with a Dream" album he came out with around '86 was boring though.

 

That being said, the guy's a great musician. There's no one quite like Al Di Meola.

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I was heavy into DiMeola in the early 80s.

 

Scenario was his last good album. When he wanted to be a third rate Metheny clone, I lost interest. I find his World Music to be incredibly boring. I saw him a few years ago in Anaheim and people were falling asleep. I've heard The Consequence of Chaos...it tries to return to his glory days, but will never be as good as Elegant Gypsy.

A Jazz/Chord Melody Master-my former instructor www.robertconti.com

 

(FKA GuitarPlayerSoCal)

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The only album I have of his is Flesh on Flesh, which I like a lot, but I understand how parts of it can be cliched. However, DiMeola seems to have a similar sense of melody to me (for better or worse, for you critics), so almost all his sounds are beautiful to my ears. Plus, I like his fusion of Spanish guitar melodies with jazz. Very unique, very cool.
Shut up and play.
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The World Sinfonia and the Piazzola albums are his best work in my opinion. Its just fully integrated. His monster technique serves the music, not vice versa, which is often one of his flaws.

We share that opinion. But I suspect one of the reasons it's some his best stuff is just that the music isn't really his, and is fairly powerful by itself.

 

Sometimes I think he's the Yngwie of fusion, even getting into Impelliteri-style pointlessness. No, I can't do better, but I was asked for my opinion, right?

 

I saw him w/ Stanley Clarke and Jean-Luc Ponty I think in 95, not sure. Great show, I think it was called "Rite of Strings". His all-too-scalar approach and that whistling synth thing was the most annoying thing of the whole act, as well as his cliché of finishing his runs w/ that downward glissando.

 

He's a technical powerhouse, though. I have immense admiration for him.

 

I should get his version "Song of the Pharaoh Kings" by Corea. I lost all my DiMeola tapes and CD's (didn't have many anyway), but I should get some of his tracks and study them.

"Without music, life would be a mistake."

--from 'Beyond Good and Evil', by Friedrich Nietzsche

 

My MySpace Space

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His all-too-scalar approach and that whistling synth thing was the most annoying thing of the whole act, as well as his cliché of finishing his runs w/ that downward glissando.

 

In the 70s we used to call him Mr. Mode. :grin:

A Jazz/Chord Melody Master-my former instructor www.robertconti.com

 

(FKA GuitarPlayerSoCal)

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