Al di Meola continues to broaden his musical horizons with Flesh on Flesh, his fourth release for the Telarc recording label. The great guitarist is joined by two members of his World Sinfonia acoustic group -- Gumbi Ortiz on percussion and Mario Parmisano on keyboards -- in addition to such stellar musicians as Gonzalo Rubalcaba, flutist Alejandro Santos, and bassist Anthony Jackson, who recorded with di Meola on his 1977 best-selling album, Elegant Gypsy. Offering classic guitar lines on an array of guitars (including a vintage Les Paul, Fender Stratocaster, and Conde-Romano acoustic), di Meola is memorable, timeless, and true to the beauty, culture and sensual imagery that inspired him to compose and arrange these eight great songs. Each song is a masterpiece, and such compositions as "Flesh on Flesh" (which features him on five different instruments), "Zona Desperata," and "Fugata" (which showcases di Meola trading with Gonzalo Rubalcaba on their Fender Rhodes solo in part three) are just three of the musical statements befitting all who've been lucky enough to see or hear di Meola's phenomenal sound "live." To hear that same energy and excitement recorded "live" on Flesh on Flesh is especially gratifying since the music is developed and takes place in a new context, space, and time. You'll find that every graceful musical curve, every dynamic concept, every technological update heard on Flesh on Flesh is a celebration of new forms and functions, of strict rhythmic reinterpretation and the inimitable di Meola sound and guitar virtuosity. A must-have.
AllMusic Review by Paula Edelstein