Al Di Meola
Al Di Meola at the Granada Theater, Dallas, Texas, December 6, 2006
|Birth name||Al Laurence Di Meola|
|Born||July 22, 1954|
Jersey City, New Jersey, U.S.
|Genres||Jazz, jazz fusion, world music, world fusion|
|Labels||Columbia, Telarc, Tomato|
|Associated acts||Return to Forever, Paco de Lucía, John McLaughlin|
Al Laurence Di Meola (born July 22, 1954) is an American guitarist. Known for his works in jazz fusion and world music, he began his career as a guitarist of the group Return to Forever in 1974. Between the 1970s and 1980s, albums such as Elegant Gypsy and Friday Night in San Francisco earned him both critical and commercial success.
Jazz fusion is a musical genre that developed in the late 1960s when musicians combined jazz harmony and improvisation with rock music, funk, and rhythm and blues. Electric guitars, amplifiers, and keyboards that were popular in rock and roll started to be used by jazz musicians, particularly those who had grown up listening to rock and roll.
World music is a musical category encompassing many different styles of music from around the globe, which includes many genres including some forms of Western music represented by folk music, Jazz, as well as selected forms of ethnic music, indigenous music, neotraditional music, and music where more than one cultural tradition, such as ethnic music and Western popular music, intermingle.
Return to Forever is a jazz fusion group founded and led by pianist Chick Corea. Through its existence, the band has had many members, with the only consistent bandmate of Corea's being bassist Stanley Clarke. Along with Weather Report and Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever is often cited as one of the core groups of the jazz-fusion movement of the 1970s. Several musicians, including Clarke, Flora Purim, Airto Moreira and Al Di Meola, first came to prominence through their performances on Return to Forever albums.
Born in Jersey City, New Jersey, into an Italian family with roots in Cerreto Sannita, a small town northeast of Naples, Di Meola grew up in Bergenfield, where he attended Bergenfield High School.He has been a resident of Old Tappan, New Jersey.
Jersey City is the second most populous city in the U.S. state of New Jersey, after Newark. It is the seat of Hudson County as well as the county's largest city. As of 2017, the Census Bureau's Population Estimates Program calculated that Jersey City's population was 270,753, with the largest population increase of any municipality in New Jersey since 2010, an increase of about 9.4% from the 2010 United States Census, when the city's population was at 247,597. ranking the city the 75th-most-populous in the nation.
Cerreto Sannita is a comune (municipality) in the Province of Benevento in the Italian region Campania, located about 60 km northeast of Naples and about 25 km northwest of Benevento.
Naples is a major city in southern Italy. It is the capital of the Campania region, and the third-largest municipality in Italy after Rome and Milan. The city is called Napoli in Italian, and Napule in Neapolitan. The name comes from Ancient Greek Νεάπολις, meaning "new city", via the Latin Neapolis.
When he was eight years old, he was inspired by Elvis Presley and the Ventures to start playing guitar. His teacher directed him toward jazz standards. He cites as influences jazz guitarists George Benson and Kenny Burrell and bluegrass and country guitarists Clarence White and Doc Watson.
Elvis Aaron Presley, commonly known as Elvis, was an American singer and actor. Regarded as one of the most significant cultural icons of the 20th century, he is often referred to as the "King of Rock and Roll" or simply "the King".
The Ventures are an American instrumental rock band, formed in 1958 in Tacoma, Washington, by Don Wilson and Bob Bogle. The band, a quartet for most of its existence, helped to popularize the electric guitar in the United States and across the world during the 1960s. While their popularity in the United States waned in the 1970s, the group remains especially revered in Japan, where they tour regularly to this day. The classic lineup of the band consisted of Wilson, Bogle, Nokie Edwards, and Mel Taylor (drums).
George Benson is an American guitarist, singer, and songwriter. He began his professional career at the age of 21 as a jazz guitarist. Benson uses a rest-stroke picking technique similar to that of gypsy jazz players such as Django Reinhardt.
He attended Berklee College of Music in the early 1970s. At nineteen, he was hired by Chick Corea to replace Bill Connors in the pioneering jazz fusion band Return to Forever with Stanley Clarke and Lenny White. He recorded three albums with Return to Forever, helping the quartet earn its greatest commercial success as all three albums cracked the Top 40 on the U.S. Billboard pop albums chart.He could play so fast, that he was sometimes criticized for playing too many notes.
Berklee College of Music is a private music college in Boston, Massachusetts. It is the largest independent college of contemporary music in the world. Known for the study of jazz and modern American music, it also offers college-level courses in a wide range of contemporary and historic styles, including rock, flamenco, hip hop, reggae, salsa, heavy metal and bluegrass. Berklee alumni have won 294 Grammy Awards, more than any other colleges, and 95 Latin Grammy Awards. Other notable accolades include 19 Emmy Awards, 5 Tony Awards and 5 Academy Awards.
Armando Anthony "Chick" Corea is an American jazz pianist/electric keyboardist and composer. His compositions "Spain", "500 Miles High", "La Fiesta" and "Windows", are considered jazz standards. As a member of Miles Davis's band in the late 1960s, he participated in the birth of jazz fusion. In the 1970s he formed the fusion band Return to Forever. With Herbie Hancock, McCoy Tyner, and Keith Jarrett, he has been described as one of the major jazz piano voices to emerge in the post-John Coltrane era.
Bill Connors is an American jazz guitarist who was a member of Chick Corea's band Return to Forever. After leaving Return to Forever, he recorded three acoustic albums and then three electric albums as a leader/soloist.
As Return to Forever was disbanding around 1976, Di Meola began recording solo albums on which he demonstrated mastery of jazz fusion, flamenco, and Mediterranean music.His album Elegant Gypsy (1977) received a gold certification. In 1980 he recorded the acoustic live album Friday Night in San Francisco with Paco de Lucía and John McLaughlin.
A flamenco guitar is a guitar similar to a classical guitar but with thinner tops and less internal bracing. It is used in toque, the guitar-playing part of the art of flamenco.
Elegant Gypsy is the second album by American jazz fusion guitarist Al Di Meola. It was released in 1977 by Columbia Records.
Friday Night in San Francisco is a 1981 live album by Al Di Meola, John McLaughlin and Paco de Lucía. It was described by jazz author and critic Walter Kolosky as "a musical event that could be compared to the Benny Goodman Band's performance at Carnegie Hall in 1938 ... [it] may be considered the most influential of all live acoustic guitar albums".
In the beginning of his career, as evidenced on his first solo album Land of the Midnight Sun (1976), Di Meola was noted for his technical mastery and extremely fast, complex guitar solos and compositions. But even on his early albums, he had begun to explore Mediterranean cultures and acoustic genres like flamenco. Notable examples are "Mediterranean Sundance" and "Lady of Rome, Sister of Brazil" from the Elegant Gypsy album (1977).
Land of the Midnight Sun is the debut album by jazz fusion guitarist Al Di Meola, released in 1976.
His early albums were influential among rock and jazz guitarists. Di Meola continued to explore Latin music within jazz fusion on Casino and Splendido Hotel . He exhibited a more subtle touch on acoustic numbers "Fantasia Suite for Two Guitars" from the Casino album and on the best-selling live album with McLaughlin and de Lucia, Friday Night in San Francisco . The latter album became one of the most popular live albums for acoustic guitar, selling more than two million copies worldwide.
With Scenario , he explored the electronic side of jazz in a collaboration with Jan Hammer (later of Miami Vice theme fame). Beginning with this change, he further expanded his horizons with the acoustic album Cielo e Terra . He began to incorporate the Synclavier guitar synthesizer on mid-1980s albums such as Soaring Through a Dream . By the 1990s, Di Meola recorded albums closer to world music and modern Latin styles than jazz.[ citation needed ] A notable exception was the 1991 album Kiss My Axe , which peaked at #2 on the US Contemporary Jazz Albums chart.
However, in 2006 he rediscovered his love of the electric guitar,and the DVD of his concert at the Leverkusen Jazz Festival 2006 is subtitled Return to Electric Guitar.
John McLaughlin, also known as Mahavishnu John McLaughlin, is an English guitarist, bandleader and composer. His music includes many genres of jazz, combined with elements of rock, Indian classical music, Western classical music, flamenco, and blues. He is one of the pioneering figures in fusion.
Francisco Gustavo Sánchez Gomes, known as Paco de Lucía[ˈpä.ko̞ ð̞e̞ lu.ˈθi.ä], was a Spanish virtuoso flamenco guitarist, composer, and record producer. A leading proponent of the new flamenco style, he was one of the first flamenco guitarists to branch into classical and jazz. Richard Chapman and Eric Clapton, authors of Guitar: Music, History, Players, describe de Lucía as a "titanic figure in the world of flamenco guitar", and Dennis Koster, author of Guitar Atlas, Flamenco, has referred to de Lucía as "one of history's greatest guitarists".
Larry Coryell was an American jazz guitarist known as the "Godfather of Fusion".
World Sinfonia is an album by jazz fusion guitarist Al Di Meola that was released in 1991.
This is a discography of Al Di Meola, an American jazz fusion and Latin jazz guitarist, composer, and record producer of Italian origin.
Tour de Force — Live is a live album by jazz guitarist Al Di Meola that was released in 1982 and recorded on February 4, 1982 at Tower Theatre in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Additional keyboards and percussion were overdubbed in the studio.
Passion, Grace & Fire is the second album by John McLaughlin, Al Di Meola and Paco de Lucía released in 1983. Unlike their first album Friday Night in San Francisco, this album consists entirely of studio recordings.
The Guitar Trio is a reunion album by Al Di Meola, Paco de Lucía and John McLaughlin, released in 1996 after 13 years without playing together. This 1996 effort has three originals apiece from McLaughlin and Di Meola, two by de Lucía and a McLaughlin-Di Meola duet on "Manhã de Carnaval".
Electric Rendezvous is an album by jazz guitarist Al Di Meola that was released in 1982. It includes flamenco guitarist Paco de Lucía who recorded Friday Night in San Francisco with Di Meola.
Biréli Lagrène is a French Manouche jazz guitar virtuoso. He is a musical genius that can also play bass and violin. He came to prominence in the 1980s for his Django Reinhardt-influenced style. He often performs in swing, jazz fusion and post-bop styles.
"Mediterranean Sundance" is the third track on Elegant Gypsy (1977), the second album by Al Di Meola. This piece and "Lady Of Rome, Sister Of Brazil", are the only two entirely acoustic tracks on the album. However, unlike "Lady Of Rome, Sister Of Brazil" which is an acoustic solo by Di Meola, "Mediterranean Sundance" consists of an acoustic guitar duet with flamenco guitarist Paco de Lucía. With a duration of 5' 13", the song is a complex blend of jazz and flamenco influences.
World Sinfonía III – The Grande Passion is an album by jazz guitarist Al Di Meola that was released in 2000.
"Río Ancho" is a Spanish flamenco guitar piece that combines flamenco and gypsy jazz influences. The piece is in the key of E minor and progresses to A minor, D, G, C and B7. The original performances of the song had notable flute solos towards the end of the piece, reminiscent of classic Spanish gypsy music with trumpets. The track first featured on Paco de Lucia's 1976 album Almoraima.
Barry Miles is an American pianist, drummer, composer, producer, arranger and author.
MarioParmisano, is an Argentinian jazz pianist. He is recognized on the international scene for his work with guitarist Al Di Meola and for his Tango Jazz Trio, performing a unique interpretation about the Music of the Great Tango Master Astor Piazzolla.
The discography of Spanish flamenco guitarist Paco de Lucía:
Castillo de Arena is a 1977 album, the last in a series of nine albums featuring flamenco guitarist Paco de Lucía and singer Camarón de la Isla. Paco de Lucia's brother Ramón de Algeciras also contributes guitar to the proceedings. The lyrics were written by Antonio Sánchez, with the exception of the bulerías "Samara" which was penned by both Sánchez and de la Isla. After this album, de Lucía turned his attentions to instrumental collaborations with jazz guitarists Larry Coryell, Al Di Meola and John McLaughlin, only returning to record again with Camarón on 1981's Como el Agua.
The Promise is a jazz album released in 1995 by John McLaughlin on Verve Records. The album peaked number 4 in the Billboard Top Jazz Albums chart 1996.
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