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Land of the Midnight Sun

38 customer reviews

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Audio CD, March 1, 2008
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$4.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 5 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Land of the Midnight Sun + Elegant Gypsy + Casino
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Editorial Reviews


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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 1, 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sbme Special Mkts.
  • ASIN: B0012GMYXC
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #36,113 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Gavin Wilson on April 26, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Born in July '54, DiMeola was little more than 21 when he recorded this, his debut. There are a few rock cliches scattered across this album, but the standard of musicianship is dauntingly high. This is precisely what Carlos Santana ought to have progressed to after 'Caravanserai'. But could he have done it, because DiMeola was unquestionably the most proficient young guitarist ot come out of the States for a long time. He had the lot: sharp staccato passages that crackle like machine-gun fire, high searing solos with notes that twist and turn as he bends them, and a sensitive but all-pervading acoustic guitar style.
This album has a strong latin flavour running through most of it, caused by the presence of Al's chum Mingo Lewis on congas, who makes the album flow almost as much as Al does. And there's almost an embarrassment of riches among the supporting musicians present -- Pastorius, Clarke, Corea ...
The only negative about this album is the strength of the compositions -- there are just too many standard rock licks here -- but Al would become more consistent with the following year's 'Elegant Gypsy'. But for me, Al had already written his best tune: 'Flight of the Newborn' on Return to Forever's 'No Mystery' is one of those tracks I can never tire of, and I've known it for a quarter of a century. Personally I feel Al is better when he doesn't have the pressure of being forced to lead a band -- that's why his three albums with RtF are so magnificent.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 12, 2002
Format: Audio CD
There's a well-worn cliche about artists who try to match their first effort, but to no avail. That's the case with Al. I have heard most all of his 1970s and 80s work, and frankly it doesn't match this, his first solo effort, recorded when he was his early 20s. As his career wore on, Al got bogged down in a lot of embarrassing bombast and overproduced messes. Not so here. The guitar playing is fierce, funky and tasteful; he makes nice use of his patented "percolater" effect, damping the strings with his wrist and using the guitar almost as a percussion instrument, which goes along well with the latin/rock/funk compositions and the presence of Mingo Lewis, the percussionist. Unlike later work the compositions are tight and show some restraint. There is a nice "macho" air throughout. All in all it is a perfect guitar record, right up there with the best of them.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Antony on March 29, 2006
Format: Audio CD
I remember what happened to me when i first listened to it.I was blown away.Everything changed that day.I thought i knew so much about guitar playing..and then Al came.This album together with the next one 'Elegant Gypsy' reflect alone the glorious and creative time of the 70's.It is so hard to find something similar nowadays,and to be honest we don't want to.Those days were unique,noone can turn back time.Musically this is beyond every imagination.Al was the most charismatic electric-guitar player of the 70's.Not only he played fast but he was a great composer also.That is what seperates true musicians from the fast-fake ones.Along with his marvelous-gifted companions they do whatever they like with their instruments.They give us a hard-electric-latin-tango-blues-classical-fusion spectacle and they welcome us to join their world.A good lesson for youngers..respect for the old ones..
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Nikolaus Dolp on April 3, 2005
Format: Audio CD
This Cd captures the essence of the glory 70s Fusion area. It's a teriffic solo debut album by guitar phenomen Al Di Meola who not just shows his jaw dropping technique, but also great compositions and musicianship. The album dated very well and is an important landmark masterpiece of the wonderful 70s Fusion area - the album also features many other Fusion Gods at their prime time: Chick Corea, Jaco Pastorious, Alphonse Mouzon, Stanley Clarke, Lenny White, Anthony Jackson, Mingo Lewis and Steve Gadd.

"Wizard", "Land Of the Midnight Sun" and especially "Golden Dawn Suite" ( outstanding performance by Al Di Meola, Jaco Pastorious and Alphonse Mouzon) are Fusion classics.

A must have for fusion fans and guitarists!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 8, 1998
Format: Audio CD
"Suite Golden Dawn", the multiple-part song featuring bass genius Jaco Pastorius, highlights DiMeola's speed and technical skill, while allowing Pastorius a few patented groove statements. Stanley Clarke is also on the album, but his playing cannot compare to Jaco's. This album makes you wish DiMeola were in Weather Report -- or that Jaco were in Return to Forever.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By "gdozzzz" on May 16, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Not quite as polished as Elegant Gypsy or Splendido Hotel, this is nonetheless and impressive debut album.
One of the benefits of this album is that it features Jaco Pastorius on bass (his only album with Jaco)... it is true that Al played with Stanley Clarke with RTF but in my opinion Clarke is a distant 2nd to Jaco as far as fusion bassists go.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Craig Hamilton on September 24, 2012
Format: Audio CD
When I got Land of the Midnight Sun, the main thing I wanted to know was whether or not it was on par with Al di Meola's other classic albums I own, particularly, Hotel Splendido, Elegant Gypsy and Casino. I was not in the slightest way disappointed. Land of the Midnight Sun is as great as these three primary records that are recommended for purchase, especially if you are interested in jazz guitar. In fact, the style is not really distinguishable from the other three, as all four of these album make one think of blazing fast Spanish jazz rock fusion.
I'll go so far as saying that Land of the Midnight Sun is more solid straight through, but lacks a majorly outstanding track or two - think Race with the Devil on a Spanish Highway -, which is why I think this album failed to get heavy entries in the "This Is Jazz," series of sampling of great songs from the most important jazz musicians.
In fact, based upon the tracks from this one that are in the "This Is Jazz" collection, it would appear that they don't represent the totality of Land of the Midnight Sun to the point of deception. This album by itself is better than the This Is Jazz compilation entry for Al di Meola. However, there are no weak tracks on Land of the Midnight Sun. So, I would urge the potential buyer. Don't buy something from the This Is Jazz collection, but pick up one of the big 4, such as Land of the Midnight Sun. I guarantee you that you will not be disappointed by going this way.
Perhaps, the greatest reason I give this album praise, is that I think it's Al di Meola's hardest rocker, but I can't honestly say I know that yet, especially since I haven't heard all of his albums, which are many.
Perhaps, the thing I like most about Al di Meola is that practically anyone is going to enjoy much of his work.
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