Although its programming has been juggled a bit, and the CD has been given liner notes, this Delmark release is a straight reissue of the original LP. Clocking in at around 38 minutes, the relatively brief set is the only recording that exists of Vinson, pianist Jay McShann, and guitarist T-Bone Walker playing together; the sextet is rounded out by the fine tenor Hal Singer, bassist Jackie Sampson, and drummer Paul Gunther. Vinson, whether singing "Plese Send Me Somebody to Love," "Just a Dream," and "Juice Head Baby" or taking boppish alto solos, is the main star throughout this album (originally on Black & Blue), a date that helped launch Vinson's commercial comeback.
For who hasn't heard of Andrea Parodi before, he was the lead singer of a folk-pop group (Tazenda) that had a brief moment of success in Italy in the early 90s. His unique voice and the folk themes sung in Sardinian make him more belonging to world music. In this album Al di meola rediscovers the european and mainly Spanish influences that are very evident on Friday Night in SF. The quality of the recording, taking into account that it's a live album, is excellent and remarkable.
Latin music has been a strong influence on Al Di Meola since his early years, and in the '90s, he paid especially close attention to the music of Argentina. A welcome addition to his already impressive catalog, Di Meola Plays Piazzolla pays homage to the late Argentine tango master Astor Piazzolla (whose distinctive and very poetic brand of romanticism was considered quite daring and radical in Argentina). It would have been easy for an artist to allow his own personality to become obscured when saluting Piazzolla's legacy, but the charismatic Di Meola is too great an improviser to let that happen. Though his reverence for Piazzolla comes through loud and clear on these haunting classics, there's no mistaking the fact that this is very much an Al Di Meola project.
Al Laurence Di Meola is an American jazz, jazz fusion, and world music guitarist. Albums such as Friday Night in San Francisco have earned him both critical and commercial success with fans throughout the world.
With a curriculum vitae rich of exciting musical moments and incredible works, Al Di Meola is still challenging himself and his music but with a more relaxed way to see things. Over the last few years he has literally started all over, reinventing himself in both, his private life and music, and his brand new studio album "OPUS" truly reflects all of this. 'With "OPUS" I wanted to further my compositional skills as I think that the evolution of this part of my persona has labeled me more composer/guitarist than guitarist/composer', says Al. 'At the same time this record also marks a new era in my life. For the first time in my life, I have written music being happy, I'm in a wonderful relationship with my wife, I have a baby girl and a beautiful family that inspires me every day. I believe it shows in the music.' Available on CD, 180 gram Vinyl and Digital.