Al Di Meola

Flesh On Flesh

Telarc CD-83543

Al di Meola, acoustic & electric guitars, keyboard & percussion; Anthony Jackson, Fodera electric contra bass; Gumbi Ortiz, congas and cajone; Mario Parmisano, acoustic piano, synths and calliope; Ernie Adams, drums; Alejandro Santos, flutes; Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Fender Rhodes; Jean Valdez, Guillermo Ruiz, alto saxophone; Williams Polledo, trumpet

No doubt about Al Di Meola, he sure can play the guitar. This is nothing new to his thousands of fans, but maybe this is a divergence from his usual stuff - the fans will know best. There is one thing about Latin music, you often need to have someone dark-eyed and raven-haired handy to stroke your cheek. But seriously, the man seems over-endowed with talent. They kick off with a loping rhythm and plenty of riff guitar winding up into what becomes a pretty good rock effort. Things swirl a bit until we get to track five and Piazzolla's "Fugata" - which is handled pretty slickly until di Meola starting picking. Chick Corea's "Senõr Mouse" would have logically been a good gag title for Gonzalo Rubalcaba, who does not push anywhere on this recording, but the piano is played to perfect effect by Mario Parmisano instead. And for my taste this is the best number offered. Generally, though, it is bassist Anthony Jackson who shines - well, he doesn't outshine di Meola, but Jackson is pretty cool. Lawrence Brazier

by Lawrence Brazier

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