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Anthology Original recording remastered

4.8 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, October 24, 2000
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

A nearly two-and-a-half hour overview of the stunning music that guitarist Al Di Meola made for Columbia Records from 1975 to 1982! Includes key tracks from the albums Land of the Midnight Sun, Elegant Gypsy, Splendido Hotel, Electric Rendezvous, Tour De Force-Live and Scenario , plus four unissued tracks. Guests include Jaco Pastorius, Jan Hammer, Steve Gadd and more!

Amazon.com

It's no wonder that some of the college students and twentysomething youngsters who have given free jazz a shot in the arm are revisiting the fusion movement (sometimes simultaneously, as with Medeski Martin & Wood). The music reflects all the impetuousness and energy of youth and combines it with the technical maturity that can match the most seasoned avant-garde improviser. If there was such a thing as a pure fusion musician, it was the 21-year-old Al Di Meola at the start of this two-CD compilation. While with Return to Forever, the young guitarist honed his high-flying, hard-rocking style, moving further along with a group that first featured Barry Miles, then Jan Hammer and Philipe Saisse on keyboards. Di Meola also had the knack of aptly titling his fiery compositions with descriptions, like "Race with Devil on Spanish Highway," "Alien Chase on Arabian Desert," "Elegant Gypsy," and "Island Dreamer." Expertly sequenced and annotated by Bill Milkowski, the unofficial biographer of the fusion movement, this 20-track retrospective includes four unreleased live tracks, including an incredible reading of the RTF anthem "Theme to the Mothership." The anthology is also instructive in tracing the development of the style (from 1976 to 1983) that eventually turned Jan Hammer into a pop star through the Miami Vice soundtrack. --Mark Ruffin

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Land Of The Midnight Sun
  2. Race With Devil On Spanish Highway
  3. Elegant Gypsy Suite
  4. Señor Mouse
  5. Casino
  6. Medley: Short Tales Of The Black Forest/Fantasia Suite For Two Guitars
  7. The Wizard

Disc: 2

  1. Alien Chase On Arabian Desert
  2. Dinner Music of the Gods
  3. Bianca's Midnight Lullaby
  4. God Bird Change
  5. Electric Rendezvous
  6. Nena
  7. Egyptian Danza
  8. Cruisin'
  9. Island Dreamer
  10. Sequencer
  11. Al Di's Dream Theme
  12. Theme To The Mothership


Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 24, 2000)
  • Original Release Date: October 24, 2000
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Sony Legacy
  • Run Time: 137 minutes
  • ASIN: B00004ZDP4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #163,507 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Steve Marshall on October 25, 2000
Format: Audio CD
I've been waiting a long time for this. Al DiMeola has been one of my favorite guitarists since I heard him on the Return to Forever fusion masterpiece, Romantic Warrior. The songs on the new double CD appear in (mostly) chronological order, covering the years 1976-83. From the blazing "Land of the Midnight Sun" to the end of the second CD; the quintessential jazz guitar hero burns up the fretboard with mindboggling speed and precision. All of his Columbia material is represented here, with the exception of the classic Friday Night in San Francisco album with John McLaughlin and Paco de Lucia.
In the 2½ hours on these two CDs, DiMeola covers an enormous amount of musical ground. From the graceful power of the epic "Elegant Gypsy Suite," to the gentle "Bianca's Midnight Lullaby," to a rocker like "Cruisin'," he effortlessly switches between multiple styles--often within the same song. Looking for highlights? Check out the track list. There isn't a bad one in the bunch. One special note to fans: there are two previously unreleased live tracks at the end of each disc, for a total of almost 40 minutes of new music. The liner notes are excellent, and there are plenty of great photos also.
It's always great to see one of your favorite musicians release a compilation like this and have it done right. You can almost always find something wrong with them when you've been a fan for any length of time. There's always the song that should've been on there but wasn't, and vice versa. But you'll be hard pressed to find fault with this one. Whether you're a longtime fan or discovering Al DiMeola for the first time, you can't go wrong with Anthology.
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Format: Audio CD
I've been following Al's career since the late 70s (First heard his work on a submarine!).
As you know from the cd description, this is compilation of his Columbia Records work from the late 70s to early 80s. The gem of this cd package in my opinion is the live version of 'The Wizard'. About 6 minutes into the song, Mingo Lewis (percussion) and Steve Gadd (drums) get into a percussion/drum solo. My question is this. Why wasn't this track released previously? What a great drum/percussion solo! Mingo Lewis and Steve Gadd are great! Steve Gadd was voted #3 in Modern Drummer's 25 best drummers of all time and this track really displays his talent.
On a personal note, I've met Al Di Meola a couple of times. He's a very down-to-earh person, not some stuck-up musician. I wish more people knew about his music. I'm on a crusade of sorts to get more people interested in his music. He focused on the music and not being famous.
Anyway, get this cd, especially if you are becoming interested in Al for the first time.
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Format: Audio CD
(Instrumental Proficiency and Musicianship 6 out of 5)

Well, I have been listening to this amazing 2-disc set over the last couple of days nonstop,and I must say that there are certain people in life who are simply unnaturally talented.....they seem so gifted in some very specific way; as if there is nothing in the world that they are more well suited for than one specific thing. Einstein was seemingly born to understand the world through mathematical models and theory, and Al di Meola was born to express and create through music. Al di Meola first became prominent in jazz circles via his association with jazz pioneer Chick Corea, who (along with others like Miles Davis and John McLaughlin) was creating a new "bohemian" style of jazz combining virtuoso-level playing and muscicianship with rock and psychedelic music. Retun To Forever, widely regarded as the biggest fusion band in history, featured his explosive, sophisticated playing to wide acclaim. At the time, he was 19 years old. Subsequent to his stint with the jazz supergroup, he released many incredible solo albums(with much collaboration and guest appearances from many other talented musicians); this period in his career is documented here. Words can simply not describe Al di Meola's guitar playing on these early albums....incredibly progressive, dense, layered with suble nuance and simply brilliant; his nearly superhuman technique and ability, combined with a unique and uncompromising vision and understanding of music, has influenced many players on both sides of the jazz and rock fence. This is music that cannot be passively listened to, but absorbed, engaged and experienced.
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Format: Audio CD
There is a Santa out there, finally a definitive collection. Mind you there are a couple of songs that I would have added but I'm not complaining. If you don't own anything from Al DiMeola. Please buy it. If you want to hear not one but many different styles, buy it. A very important guitarist of our time and an accomplished writer. Suite: Golden Dawn remains a favorite because of Jaco.
Please do yourself a favor and get it. A very important piece of musicianship.
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Format: Audio CD
This CD is the perfect way to get a dose of Al without wasting money on all his output. As a reformed Dimeolaite from the vinyl days Anthology is just what I needed, a portable Al.
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