Al Di Meola


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With this recording, Al di Meola thankfully left behind the pop-fusion sound that he had perfected with Jan Hammer. This was his first venture using the Roland guitar synthesizer and a drum machine. The technology used on this recording sounds dated, but the intent seems genuine. Jan Hammer's Miami Vice sound can be heard throughout, especially on "Sequencer"; di Meola places more emphasis on composition and production than on his famous technique. This turns out to be a refreshing change, but it would have been nice to hear him jam with Phil Collins on "Island Dreamer" rather than lying back on what turns out to be a disappointing collaboration. "Calliope" finds di Meola aligned with Bill Bruford and Tony Levin, although this too turns out to be a disappointment. Certainly a turning point in di Meola's career, but hardly at the level of his later output.

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