14 of 59 people found the following review helpful
TECHNIQUE + MINDLESS SPEED Does NOT Equal Good Music,
This review is from: Land of the Midnight Sun (Audio CD)
This marked the emergence of a VERY negative trend in music, namely that technique and speed were far more important than creating music and actually communicating.
Al DiMeola for me epitomized a lot of things that went wrong with the jazz-rock fusion movement, which started off so incredibly innovative and exciting, Somewhaere along the way, it changed from being about exploring bold new musical ideas to rather juvenile game of "I CAN PLAY FASTER THAN YOU JACK!!" Without ANY of the sheer musical depth of his former boss Chick Corea or a master like John McLaughlin or Miles Davis, Al burst out of the starting gate just whipping off scales at 19,000 mph but saying little to NOTHING in the process except, "I CAN PLAY REALLY FAST AND LOUD".
Compositionally, most of the pieces here are not much more than textbook mathematical exercises, save for the Bach piece which actually gets a decent reading. Al's vocal spot with "Pictures Of The Sea" is pretty non-descript and pointless. Only "Short Tales From The Black Forest" stirs any interest, only because of Chick Corea's musicianship. On "Suite-Golden Dawn", Jaco Pastorious tries so danged hard to get Al to loosen up and play with some soul, but alas, 'twas not to be.
If you like super-speed shred guitar and mindless pyrotechnics for their own sake, this might be for you, otherwise, don't bother with this technique-ridden snoozefest. Al DiMeola sure proved he was far more TECHNICIAN than MUSICIAN.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 8, 2009 1:39:43 PM PDT
You must be joking
Posted on Mar 12, 2010 12:49:23 PM PST
Patrick J. Logan says:
I couldn't agree less. I loved this when it came out and I still do. It was a thrill to listen to at HIGH volume. I'm sorry Al didn't play slower for you. But after all it was HIS album to make. I'm not sure what "technique-ridden" means. Most professional musicians have tons of technique to go with their other talents. He was only around 21 when he made this album, so his writing may have been still developing, don't you think?
In reply to an earlier post on Dec 6, 2012 10:10:29 AM PST
I bought this LP when it first came out, and I hadn't heard it in a long time, so I figured I should check it out again...
It may not be most complex music I've ever heard, but it's still awesome, and I'm really glad to have heard it again. It's fantastic at both high and low volume...
Thank you, Mr McKenna, for reminding me of a superb album I hadn't dusted off in way too long.
Posted on Aug 24, 2013 10:04:20 AM PDT
KOP ESF says:
I don't like Di Meola nearly as much as John McLaughlin. I think McLaughlin's playing has more maturity and artistry. Having said that, I always had a soft spot for these early Di Meola records(especially "Land of the Midnight Sun"). This is some of the best stuff Di Meola has ever done, and it is classic 70's fusion.......when fusion was new and this form of music was at its apex of creativity. A one-starred review is way out of line for this fine recording.
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