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Friday Night in San Francisco - Live Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered

157 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered, September 23, 1997
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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This live recording from 1980 matched fusion guitar heavyweights Al DiMeola and John McLaughlin with Spanish guitar whiz Paco DeLucia. The result, a dazzling technical display, also earned jeers as the international summit of world-class finger-wigglers by critics who felt it was long on chops and short on heart. John McLaughlin's importance to the development of the jazz fusion scene can't be overestimated: as the guitarist on Miles Davis's seminal Bitches Brew and A Tribute to Jack Johnson, he was the first significant guitarist of the electric jazz era; on his own, he brought power rock, spiritualism, and lush orchestration to the scene via his Mahavishnu Orchestra. DiMeola, the most commercially successful next-generation fusion guitarist, achieved stardom with Chick Corea's group Return to Forever and on his own records. DeLucia, virtually unknown in the U.S., is a fine flamenco guitarist, and it is that orientation more than anything that colors Friday Night: even when playing straightforward non-flamenco compositions, the phrasing and sensibility lurks behind every note. Still, the passion of the music is frequently marred by the participants' inability to play at anything but the most breakneck pace. --Fred Goodman

1. Mediterranean Sundance/Rio Ancho
2. Short Tales Of The Black Forest
3. Frevo Rasgado
4. Fantasia Suite
5. Guardian Angel

Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 23, 1997)
  • Original Release Date: 1993
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B000002AHM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (157 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,296 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

108 of 111 people found the following review helpful By Craig Payne on May 16, 2003
Format: Audio CD
I first heard this on vinyl. Properly awed, I promptly listened to all the other instrumental guitar music I could find. Now, twenty years or so later, I'd challenge critics: Name the OTHER acoustic guitar recording that even meets, let alone surpasses, the standard set by "Friday Night in San Francisco." I love Leo Kottke and Allan Holdsworth and Phil Keaggy and all the rest, but this is still the pre-eminent acoustic recording.
Here are two points to consider:
(1) Critics talk about the emotion and beauty being lost in the fireworks. Certainly the fireworks take up the majority of the CD, but listen again to the quiet moment right before the conclusion of "Short Tales of the Black Forest," where one of the guitarists even tells the rowdy crowd, "Shut up, now" (and, by the way, when was the last time you heard a live performer have to tell the crowd to curb its enthusiasm?). Or what about the haunting, eerie melody of the middle section of "Fantasia Suite"? You'll hear it in your dreams.
So, first of all, this recording does have the "beautiful" moments. But that leads into the second response:
(2) Don't miss the point! This is not supposed to be a meditative hour to play in the background while you eat your tofu meat loaf. These three guitarists clearly wanted to have fun with each other, to provoke each other to better performance, and, primarily, to blow away the listener who never thought acoustic guitar could sound remotely like this. If judged by these criteria, "Friday Night in San Francisco" deserves seven or eight stars instead of five.
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41 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Jeff Arenson on February 25, 2002
Format: Audio CD
"Friday Night in San Francisco" is the most incredible acoustic guitar release ever by anybody. Jazz/Rock/Fusion founding fathers John Mclaughlin and Al Dimeola team up with flamenco guitar master Paco De Lucia and the results are breathtaking. The disc starts with three songs(one of each possible pairing), then a live song with all three joining forces, and finally there is a studio song with all three. "Mediterranean Sundance/Rio Ancho" teams Dimeola with Delucia. The two of them display unbelievable virtuosity and the exchanges between them during the solo section are unreal. Audience members can be heard vocalizing their disbelief throughout this song and the others. This song, as well as all of the others, isn't only about their ability to solo. Try to play,nevertheless write, the chord changes/rhythms that these two created. It is equally as dificult a task as their leads. "Short Tales .." is a teaming of Dimeola and Mclaughlin. The two pick up from where the first song left off. However, in addition to being an excellent version of the Corea compostion the two have some fun."The Pink Panther" theme as well as a bit of bluesy improv are included in the spontanaiety. "Frevo Resgado" has John and Paco adding their own madness to the mix. The last live song "Fantasia Suite" finds all three members on stage and is one of the most incredible things that you will ever hear in your life. "Guardian Angel" is a studio recording that gives the listener a sneak peak at "Passion,Grace and Fire" which was recorded after the live tour. "Friday Night in San Francisco" is a landmark recording. All three guitarists display their ability to compose, play and do so impressively.This is one that you should own so BUY IT NOW.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Steve G. Curless on January 8, 2000
Format: Audio CD
I saw the Trio perform at the Warfield in San Francisco the night after they recorded this outstanding album. I've been to a fair number of concerts over the last thirty years, but that one is indelibly etched in my mind as the best by far that I ever saw. Another reviewer makes an excellent point in commenting that it's difficult if not impossible to capture completely the greatness of a live performance on record, and this album is no exception. As good as it is, the actual concert (or, at least Saturday night's version of it) was unbelievably good, with emotional depth some critics of the album say is missing on the recording. Never before or since, not even with future tours of the Trio, have I experienced such a magical interplay of performers, audience, and breathtaking sound quality. But "Frevo Rasgado" perhaps comes closest to capturing it. It's magnificent! I think McLaughlin's solo on this relatively obscure but wonderful piece is one of his finest ever, a stunning example of the kind of rare, preciously transcendent moment he says he lives for. His interplay with Paco throughout the piece is telepathic, and the ending will drop your jaw. If you're a guitar lover and don't have this album already, buy it. It's the next best thing to having been at one of the greatest concerts you ever did or didn't see.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Sam Holt on August 4, 2003
Format: Audio CD
I heard this CD by a friend somewhere in the mountains of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and I completely lost the time for 40 minutes ... this CD is amazing! In this session you can really hear the talent these guys have, it's outstanding, that's the only word I can use for the techniques they use. My ears had a splendid time listening those 5 songs. Although it's recorded live you have no problem listening to it because of the people screaming, only on the beginning and the end of each number. When I sat there listening to this amazing art of guitarplaying my friends (both experienced guitarplayers) were quiet for the full 40 minutes this CD lasts. Normally they start to whine when there's one wrong chord in it, but this time they listened just as good as I did. This CD is unique and I recommend you buy it, for such little money you got the best guitarists of the '80 on one CD ... now that's impressive!
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Friday Night in San Francisco - Live
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