Personnel includes: Al DiMeola (acoustic guitar, acoustic bass, cymbals, percussion); Fabrizio Festa (conductor); Hernan Romero (vocals, acoustic guitar, charango); Arto Tuncboyacian (vocals, percussion); Oscar Feldman (tenor saxophone); Mike Mossman (trumpet); Fred Rizner (French horn); Camille Watts (flute); Joaquin Valdepenas (clarinet); Cynthia Steljes (oboe); Michael Sweeney (bassoon); Mark Skazinetsky, Victoria Richards, Mac-Andre Savoie (violin); Kent Teeple, Susan Lipchak (viola); David Hetheringtonm Audrey King (cello); Erica Goodman (harp); Mario Parmisano (piano); John Patitucci (acoustic bass); Roberto Occhipinti, Chas Elliott (bass); Gumbi Ortiz (congas); Gilad (percussion).
Engineers: David Baker, Katsu Naito, Henry Nophsker.
Recorded from February-April 2000. Includes liner notes by Al DiMeola.
Personnel: Al Di Meola (acoustic guitar, bandoneon, oboe, electric piano, cymbals, dumbek, percussion); Hernan Romero (vocals, guitar, charango); Arto Tuncboyaciyan (vocals, percussion); Erica Goodman (harp); Wendy Rose, Bridget Hunt, Virginia Wells, Victoria Richard, Carol Fujino (violin); Daniel Blackman, Christopher Redfield, Kent Teeple (viola); Audrey King, David Hetherington (cello); Cynthia Steljes (oboe); Michael Sweeney (bassoon); Oscar Feldman (tenor saxophone); Michael Philip Mossman (trumpet); Harcus Hennigar, Fred Rizner (French horn); Mario Parmisano (piano, synthesizer, percussion); John Patitucci (acoustic bass, bass guitar, percussion); Gumbi Ortiz (congas); Gilad (percussion).
Unknown Contributor Role: Toronto Symphony Orchestra.
Arranger: Al Di Meola.
A rich, moody tapestry with flashes of fire, this CD incorporates elements of jazz, fusion, classical, Latin, tango, and Middle Eastern music. Sounding like the romantic soundtrack to an excellent foreign film, it's full of splendid moments, like the wash of colors on "Double Concerto," a sinuous composition by Al di Meola's "musical father and friend," Astor Piazzolla. Di Meola interprets two more beauties from the late Argentine tango legend -- the tender "Soledad" and the churning, incendiary "Libertango," where he uses MIDI technology to approximate the classic bandoleon sound -- and offers six of his own. One of them, the title track, could be the most gorgeous, soulful melody of 2000, stated in ways alternately delicate and powerful; when it finally crescendos it's like the ocean lifting, with the sun sparkling on it. His "Opus in Green," written with fine Argentine pianist Mario Parmisano, is very Return to Forever-like. Di Meola has phenomenal technique and a gift for unhackneyed writing; his famous blistering runs are in here, but only when they further the music -- not gratuitously added for their own sake. The arrangements by di Meola and Parmisano make optimal use of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and soloists, creating an organically textured whole rather than the stringy soup that too often drowns such collections. ~ Judith Schlesinger
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