Al Di Meola’s Rad Rhap

One of our flashiest fusion guitarists, Al Di Meola regularly wows audiences with the kind of speedy runs that make fans stand up and woof. But he’s also capable of subtler moments, and for years his ongoing World Sinfonia project has incorporated a wealth of sounds from around the planet. Di Meola is an Astor Piazzolla buff, and the Argentine tango master’s pieces get a good shaking in the guitarist’s hands. Those venturing to see him at the Newport Jazz Festival on Saturday (with guest Gonzalo Rubalcaba) are sure to hear pieces from the impressive new Pursuit of the Radical Rhapsody(Telarc), a mélange that brings North Africa and flamenco into the mix. And somehow the guitarist makes “Strawberry Fields Forever” suit his global perspective as well.

Here’s the DownBeat review.

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