Al di Meola's passion for the acoustic guitar has not diminished his love of electric music. Upon collaboration with Gibson, the Al di Meola Jazz Guitar was issued. In stark contrast to his customary Les Paul, this guitar is a large hollow-body similar to an L-5. The jazz guitar allows di Meola to achieve a warmer tone; however, he seemed to be going through a Pat Metheny stage at the time of this recording. The upside is that di Meola's solos combine his remarkable control with a newfound sense of swing, the downside being that he seems to have lost some of his identity. "Chilean Pipe Song" stands as one of di Meola's most memorable compositions. The supporting cast of Mario Parmisano and Peter Erskine greatly enhance the music, as each is a distinguishable and tasteful musician. Erskine particularly shines on "Summer Country Song." The one burner here is "Casmir," a fast-paced tune reminiscent of the Elegant Gypsy days. "On My Own" features di Meola's debut on piano. It is by no means anything spectacular, but it does reaffirm his continued exploration and growth. The strong playing and quality of the compositions make this recommended despite the Metheny flavorings.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Robert Taylor