Guitarist Al DiMeola's second record as a leader is generally an explosive affair, although it does have a fair amount of variety. With Jan Hammer or Barry Miles on keyboards, electric bassist Anthony Jackson, drummer Lenny White (Steve Gadd takes his place on the "Elegant Gypsy Suite" ), and percussionist Mingo Lewis on most of the selections, DiMeola shows off his speedy and rockish fusion style. He was still a member of Return to Forever at the time and was a stronger guitarist than composer, but DiMeola did put a lot of thought into this music. The brief "Lady of Rome, Sister of Brazil" (an acoustic guitar solo) and "Mediterranean Sundance" (an acoustic duet with fellow guitarist Paco de Lucia) hints at DiMeola's future directions. A near classic in the fusion vein.
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music.
History has not been as kind as it might, and arguably should, have been to Blood Sweat and Tears. In their day, they made some of the most exciting progressively influenced jazz rock ever. Their greatest asset was the wonderful voice of David Clayton- Thomas, but there was far more to the band than simply a voice and a brass section.
This is Janis Ian's second album from her re-emergence in the early to mid-'70s as one of the genre's most inspired and original singer/songwriters.
Excellent addition to any fusion music collection
Somehow passed over and nearly forgotten, languishing in the shadow of the 'Friday Night in San Francisco' set, is this great album from the guitar hero team. The immediacy of that first release is still here but this session benefits from the quiet calm of the studio and less chance for the these luminaries to get caught up in showmanship. Rather, a proper selection of music is heard and the delicate balance the three achieve between jazz spontaneity, Spanish heat, and the precision of Latin fusion is more clearly rendered than on the beloved but somewhat cold 'Friday Night'. And the music is better, too, if only from lack of exposure.
Excellent addition to any rock music collection
4.5 stars really!!!!
Having recently shocked and awed the JR/F world with two amazing albums (Hymn To The seventh Galaxy and Romantic Warrior), Return To Forever was riding high on the wave it had created, riding on Corea and DiMeola's incredibly fast playing, displaying a monstrous but cold virtuosity that would eventually have a lot of fans grinding their teeth. ADM's debut solo album was another monster that would enthral fans around the world. This writer bought the album within the month it came out, well before he would indulge in Nucleus of Liles' start of the decade masterpieces, so for a few years, this album represented what jazz-rock was all about. Although called a solo album, you'd swear this could yet another RTF album as all of the RTF members appears at one point or another on this album. Musically speaking, this album is a bit schizophrenic, as 2/3 pf it is pure jazz rock, while the last third is more eclectic, from Classical too.
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music
Al DiMeola is what so many shred metal guitarists wish they could be. He can play a ridiculous number of notes per second yet he plays with a musicality seldom rivalled by the genre he helped to inspire. Elegant Gypsy shows Al in his prime, with an intractable lineup featuring flamenco god Paco De Lucia and Mahavishnu organ grinder Jan Hammer. The result is a blazing set of fusion that is over far too soon.