Flesh On Flesh
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DiMeola is far more than just another fast guitarist, he is an explorer and a genre-bending virtuoso. With Flesh On Flesh, he shows once again that he is not afraid to take chances with the music of some of the greatest modern composers of other lands. Argentine master Astor Piazzolla has been a long-time favorite of his and in addition to one of AP's compositions, DiMeola offers his interpretation of a work by the renowned Brazilian Egberto Gismonti.
I had feared, as a couple of other reviewers, that the nude woman on the cover was a device to disguise schlock within much as with DiMeola's uninspired Kiss My Axe. To my delight, it was not. The CD is jammed with great music that fills the listener with a feeling of mystic tranquility.
Some reviewers complain of a similarity to other DiMeola works. Perhaps there are superficial similarities with music he has recorded in the past, but beyond that Flesh On Flesh just adds to the catalogue of DiMeola's fine accomplishments. My favorites are the dreamy Innamorata, the Piazzolla classic Fugata, and the mellow Saffire Soleil. I also enjoy the reworking of Senor Mouse, an old standard from Al's Casino album. I am least fond of the title cut, but it does not really detract from the album as a whole.
Over all, Flesh On Flesh is an excellent album that should please most current DiMeola fans as well as attract some new ones. The four stars mean that its not among his very best, but its not at all bad. Check it out!
In 1974 Al Dimeola made a big impression in the jazz-fusion world as Chick Corea's new guitarist for Return to Forever, replacing the amazing but gritty Bill Connors. With his first few solo albums in the 70's he showed good writing ability as well. But since then he has labored in the shadows of guitarists John McLaughlin and Pat Metheny, as well as his mentor Corea. In the 80's he got a bit mired in a fusion rut where speed and accuracy trumped most everything else. He tried to climb out by following Metheny's lead into Brazilian sounds, but to me it was too derivative, not quite right for Al. In the 90's he did some world music, more fusion, and more Brazilian, all excellent, but he never quite achieved a cohesive sound. The best exception to this was 1985's great, all-acoustic Cielo y Terra.
Well, I'm glad to say here that has changed. This album is a complete whole, with great playing, but more importantly, all good compositions that reflect Al's own style. Some songs are great, including the edgy intro Zona Desperata, title piece Flesh on Flesh, which runs a range of emotions as it implies, and the complex Fugata. His band supports him perfectly, not reclusive as some times past but mixed in just right. Al even has fun with Corea's Senor Mouse, funking it up a bit and curtailing the tense middle section. (Al clearly wishes he'd played with Chick for the great Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy, as this is his third song from that album.) He has less need to impress here, and just wants to play his own music for us. Keep it up, Al!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I own many of Al Di Meola's recordings and this one is the most melodic and romantic of them. The sound quality is excellent too.Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
After having seen Al Di Meola live and have all the best nominated Albums on Vinyl that made him in the Gallery of the Greats by the Guitar Player Magazine , now building up my CD... Read morePublished 6 months ago by lou scrobogna
Great album! I missed its release in 2006, but better late than never. This album has that familiar "AL" flavor, but is still fresh and exciting. Def 5 stars!Published 7 months ago by Chris Workman
This album sounds like a 33 rpm playing at 45 rpm of coarse it a digital recording (SACD) on a disc so it is at the correct speed. Just unlistenable.Published on April 19, 2014 by Michael H. Kaplan
Al Di Meola is a god among gods in the jazz and guitar world. Came upon him a little later than his Return To Forever Days, but caught up real real fast. Read morePublished on April 11, 2014 by Carl Baker
Same comment as before. But the style of music is most listenable, and some of the best rythmic interaction in music.Published on March 1, 2014 by Stanley R Butcher
Al Di Meola defines what exceptional guitar playing means. I know musicians that almost quit playing after listening to him rip a guitar to shreds. Read morePublished on November 19, 2013 by Woodworker
Before listening to my first Al Di Meola Cd I wasn't much of a guitar fan, but there is so much more to his work . Read morePublished on May 22, 2013 by joseph boehm
this sacd sounds super and the al di meola is awsome, just like al his music. Hus guitar is so sensual. No wonder the cover.Published on December 17, 2012 by Vern Dragomir