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  • Land of the Midnight Sun
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Land of the Midnight Sun


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Audio CD, March 1, 2008
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Biography

A bona fide guitar hero, perennial poll-winner and virtuoso of the highest order, Di Meola has also been recognized over the past 30 years as a prolific composer and respected artist with over 20 recordings as a leader. His creative output to date is staggering, whether it's with his current World Sinfonia band or past musical endeavors like his electric Tour de Force group with Jan ... Read more in Amazon's Al Di Meola Store

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Land of the Midnight Sun + Elegant Gypsy + Casino
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 1, 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sbme Special Mkts.
  • ASIN: B0012GMYXC
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #46,137 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. The Wizard
2. Land of the Midnight Sun
3. Sarabande from Violin Sonata in B Minor
4. Love Theme from "Pictures of the Sea"
5. Suite-Golden Dawn: Morning Fire/Calmer of the Tempests/From Ocean ...
6. Short Tales of the Black Forest

Editorial Reviews

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
5 star
24
4 star
8
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2
See all 34 customer reviews
McLaughlin, Dimeola, were at the top in my book of guitarists.
Mark K. Duryea
Those lyrical phrases had insinuated themselves into my own sense of music, and show up in unexpected places when I play.
Dawoud Kringle
This album by itself is better than the This Is Jazz compilation entry for Al di Meola.
Craig Hamilton

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 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 B. E Jackson on November 29, 2010
Format: Audio CD
However, it's also amazingly difficult to resist calling an album perfect because of a fear you're going to be labelled as a "fanboy" (as the kids today would say).

Land of the Midnight Sun does a *magnificent* job combining rock with an assortment of different genres. I hear blues, soul, funk, classical, jazz, and of course, rock & roll.

The powerful images this kind of music puts inside of my head are that of different countries and continents around the world such as many locations in southeast Asia, the frozen deserted land of Antarctica, and the jungle environments scattered all around Africa. This music takes me *everywhere* and never loses its impact. I really mean it when I say "never" too. Never once was I bored while listening to Land of the Midnight Sun.

Simply put, Land of the Midnight Sun comes very very close to being one of the best albums of 1976. If it wasn't for Elton John's Blue Moves, I might just knight THIS album "king of the 70's".

This is what you call sophisticated jamming done with passion, energy, emotion and complexity. There's so much feeling and melody in each of these jams that it's simply *frightening* that only 20-some people have bothered writing a review for it here on amazon. A catastrophe it hasn't been rediscovered decades later and connected to a loyal fan following among the younger crowd.

"The Wizard" is unlike anything I've ever heard. A REALLY dark rhythm sets the pace for some really neat jazzy guitar work. Unlike anything out there, perhaps (unless I'm missing something obvious). The title song SOARS to emotionally sad and devastating heights in the way the guitar jam slightly resembles Santana's style but takes it to a whole new meaning of beauty and unexplainable emotional power.
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