As filmed in November 2006, the music release Al Di Meola: Speak a Volcano - Return to Electric Guitar finds jazz-rock musician Di Meola onstage before a live audience in Leverkusen, Germany, in an electric guitar set accompanied by drummer Gumbi Ortiz. Here, Di Meola performs thirteen tracks including "Hypnose," "Red Moon" and "Azzura."
Beyond Twang-Twang. At all his concerts since 1998 and on the CDs »Passion and Pride« and »Short Stories« Friedemann had always had his fabulous Franco-German ensemble at his side, with Philippe Geiss, saxophone, Emmanuel Séjourné, vibraphone and marimba, Markus Faller, drums and percussion; and Kurt Eisfeld on keyboards. The real proof of the quality and originality of this team was provided in 2005 with the live DVD »The Concert«. So it is quite astounding that none of the gentlemen appeared here. What happened? Was there a row? Was the ensemble disbanded? What does »le chef« – as the French-speaking members of the group nickname him – have to say about it?
Official Release #50. Released in 1988, Guitar may be the most important and ironically one of the least-known entries in Frank Zappa's voluminous discography – which spans over seven-dozen LPs as of this writing. His proficiencies as a composer and instrumentalist have long been lauded. However, anthologies of this nature provide an outlet for the remarkable breadth and depth of Zappa's manual dexterity and improvisational scope, which can now be enjoyed on a myriad of levels. The casual enthusiast can revel in the seemingly endless personas and sounds summoned from the soloist and band alike.
Guitarist Johnny Whitehill has been a fixture on the British blues scene since the 1970s, emerging as a star while a member of the Blues Burglars, the band he formed with harpist Paul Lamb in the early '80s. As a guitarist, his inspirations and influences came from the likes of B.B. King, Freddie King, Albert King, T-Bone Walker, Albert Collins, Robert Johnson, Blind Boy Fuller, Lightnin' Hopkins, et al., and, later on, fellow British bluesman Peter Green, among others. He has recorded albums of his own intermittently, amid two decades working mostly with Paul Lamb & the King Snakes – the successor band to the Blues Burglars – and since the opening of the 21st century has toured England with his own group, Johnny Whitehill's Real Deal.
Chet Atkins earned and held the title of "Mr. Guitar" for 50 years before passing away in the summer of 2001. Signed to RCA in 1947, he would help define the "Nashville Sound" in the late '50s while simultaneously releasing a steady string of instrumental albums. RCA Country Legends captures Atkins on 14 wonderful tracks recorded between 1949 and 1976. Atkins recorded the self-penned single "Barber Shop Rag" with mandolinist Jethro Burns and guitarist Homer Haynes. Burns' speedy runs work as a nice counterpoint, and bring out equally inspired work from Atkins. Curiously, Atkins and his buddies even add vocals on an infectious cut titled "Boogie Man Boogie." There's a nice duet with writer and fellow guitar picker Jerry Reed on "Twitchy," and a spunky take on "Tiger Rag" worthy of Django Reinhardt. There are also a number of solo pieces, including "Petite Waltz," "Yes Ma'am," and the closer, "Liza." These cuts capture a quintessential Atkins, just a man and his guitar, handling the rhythm and lead without blinking.