on 31 October 2000
Al has produced some of the finest music I have ever listened to, and with this latest offering from the World Sinfonia group, there is a maturity to the compositions which is mesmerizing. The players, all master musicians in their own right, including the amazing Hernan Romero and Mario Parmisano, add an almost 3-dimensional feel to the whole CD, and the orchestral arrangements, penned by Al & Mario have thrown a whole new light on things... Truly one of the most beautiful pieces of music you will ever hear..... I was lucky enough to see some of these songs performed in New York's Blue Note back in March this year...and the recording has captured the intimate feel of the live performance with grace and precision.....
'The Grande Passion' is perhaps one of Al Di Meola's most considered and musically diverse albums. As a result it is also one of his most satisfying releases and therefore carries its own very weighty recommendation. Playing, composition, arrangements and production are of all of a high order. The band are likewise superb. The music is very much of the Tango / Cuban orientation, sometimes highly rhythmic whilst at others, relaxed and meditative, but always engaging and never without a thrill or two.
What is most pleasing about 'The Grande Passion' is that Al has learned to place his guitar as a part of the arrangement, helping to suggest mood or melody. There are incredible solos aplenty but they exist to add excitement but not overly divert the listener from the main action. Often on previous albums the tunes existed to highlight Al's incredibly accomplished picking, a ploy that soon tires the listener out if over used. Try 'Opus in Green' or ‘Libertango’, like them and you'll love this album, as I do. Enjoy.
on 26 October 2014
A different Al Di Meola compared to late 1970s and through 1980s. Exiting ensamble music, actually a small orchestra - instrumental (non-electronic). A kind of modern classic latin with a dash of 'fusion jazz', expertly delivered as allways. Something of its own. Try out
'Double Conserto' on YouTube, and you will experience how good this album is.