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Pursuit Of Radical Rhapsody


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Audio CD, March 15, 2011
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Editorial Reviews

A bona fide guitar hero, perennial poll-winner and virtuoso of the highest order, Al 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. Following 2008's triumphant 25-year reunion tour by Return To Forever, the trailblazing guitarist gets back to playing his own music on his new Telarc recording. A pioneer of blending world music and jazz, Di Meola's current World Sinfonia band creates hauntingly beautiful music which extends and compliments the evocative, compelling tone of his guitar. Features guest appearances by the Sturcz String Quartet and a wealth of Di Meola's contemporaries, including legendary jazz bassist Charlie I-laden, drummer Peter Erskine and Cuban pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba, among others.

1. Siberiana
2. Paramour's Lullaby
3. Mawazine Part 1
4. Michelangelo's 7th Child
5. Gumbiero
6. Brave New World
7. Full Frontal Contrapuntal
8. That Way Before
9. Fireflies
10. Distination Gonzalo
11. Bona
12. Radical Rhapsody
13. Strawberry Fields
14. Mawazine Part 2
15. Over the Rainbow

Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 15, 2011)
  • Original Release Date: 2011
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Telarc
  • ASIN: B004K7M75K
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #57,746 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Reviewer on March 22, 2011
Format: Audio CD
When I saw them in concert a couple of years ago, DiMeola's current band struck me as being between several stools. Accordion + loud electric guitar? Heavy drums + no bass or keyboards? It was a strange sound & combination, and I felt that their new material could do with some added band members & orchestration to bring the tunes to life. "Pursuit of Radical Rhapsody" does this...and more.

I would call this an uncompromising, inventive & artistic record, coming after a five-year hiatus in DiMeola studio recordings. I will try and explain.

In common with Pat Metheny, DiMeola has done many fine records where, in addition to great instrumental skills, the music can sound like a pop or rock record in terms of its production. Call it 'mainstream' or 'commercial' if you wish. That has a plus & a downside, the plus being its great musicality (to a higher level than pop/rock guys can offer), the downside being the music or melodies can sound a little too familiar or 'eager to please', even if they avoid the blandness of so-called 'smooth jazz'. Some of DiMeola's best records in the last 20 years have been 'World Sinfonia' albums, as is this one, but those records, while not 'mainstream', also had an easily recognisable, or 'feel at home', sound, due to their heavy reliance on Astor Piazzolla material. By contrast, there are no Piazzolla tunes on this album. Instead, along with two cover versions, there are 13 original compositions all of which throw a 'curve ball' at the listener in the sense that they feature compositional turns, improvisations & orchestrations that will not remind you of anything else. I say this as someone who has heard all DiMeola's albums and much else besides.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Fito Che on March 27, 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
"Flying" is the word I can best use to describe the joyous sensation I felt when listening to this CD! It's rich, inspiring and takes me out of this world of chaos to a higher place. Thank you Al Di Meola! Thank you for a wonderful concert in Nashville too! Please visit us again soon! We love you!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By John Keating on November 19, 2011
Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
I have been a fan of Al Di Meola for over 25 years. This man is a phenomenal musician and composer who isn't afraid to try new musical styles. I loved Elegant Gypsy (blazing guitar). I revisit much of his early work, but this is different and is just as impressive. The music is so beautiful and mesmorizing...it is transformative. This man plays with the same passion and fire as he did on Gypsy, but the music here has an intensity all its own. I cannot stop listening to it. Here's another interesting observation...it always sounds new (every listening session is great). If you enjoy an artist who truly epitomizes what the term "artist" really means, Pursuit of Radical Rhapsody showcases this perfectly. This is MUSIC. Enjoy the experience.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Kurt Harding VINE VOICE on June 9, 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
When I hear a recording that I enjoy, I like to read the negative comments as well as the positive ones so as to temper my enthusiasm. OK, so Al DiMeola's sound is instantly identifiable. So we have heard similar sounds from him before. So there is nothing here that is radically new. Well, all that is true to an extent but I would think that DiMeola's fans would expect a little continuity in his sound.
It's been quite some time since Al DiMeola introduced his World Sinfonia. But it's also been quite some time since he has revisited the concept. In case you haven't been paying attention, there have been numerous recorded digressions meeting with varying degrees of success in the last decade. So here on Pursuit of a Radical Rhapsody he reintroduces the formula which largely propelled his career through the 1990s. And though it is sometimes familiar it is never quite the same.
The opening tune, Siberiana, instantly takes me back to the time of Heart of the Immigrants. Then a few cuts later, Gumbiero will take you back to his earliest years. That Way Before evokes the days of Orange and Blue before electrifying the listener with the superb Fireflies. Further evidence of DiMeola's continued masterful sampling of international musical textures is to be found on Mawazine Pt 2.
Now I don't claim that this is one of his best, far from it. I certainly could have done without his covers of Strawberry Fields and Over the Rainbow. But there is a lot to like even in the tunes I left unmentioned.
The CD is accompanied by an eight-page booklet that contains song info, pictures, and the usual thank yous to all and sundry. It comes housed in a standard jewel box casing. If you are more than just a casual fan of Al Dimeola, Pursuit of a Radical Rhapsody is yet another in a long line of his albums that deserves a place in your collection. Get it while you still can and enjoy it for what it is.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jay Bee on June 9, 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is an incredibly off-the-wall effort by Al DiMeola, with a space-cajun flavor that is very different and new. The odd-measure tunes and some of the incredibly fast passages my be a bit maddening at first, but you get used to it, and the appreciation sets in. Not jazzy - this is a bold experiment in time and rhythm, with impeccable musicianship. I love this CD - maybe you will too.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By lugnut on April 18, 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
After a long career of technical mastery on the guitar spent crossing back and fourth across many genres of music, Al has finally arrived as a truly world class composer. This CD is a masterful mix of jaw dropping enhanced acoustical work, soulful electric, beautiful melodies, and thoroughly engaging tunes. Even family members at my home that just never got Al's music dance about when this disk is on.
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