Al di Meola's fifth of seven fusion albums as a leader for Columbia is a typically fiery effort, with di Meola joined by keyboardist Jan Hammer, electric bassist Anthony Jackson, drummer Steve Gadd, percussionist Mingo Lewis, and guest spots for flamenco guitarist Paco de Lucía ("Passion, Grace & Fire") and keyboardist Philippe Saisse. This lesser-known effort is easily recommended to fans of rock-ish jazz guitar.
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.
Where Dylan’s first Greatest Hits took its title literally, Greatest Hits, Vol. 2 is a greatest-hits album only in the loosest sense of the term. While the double album does contain several genuine hits — “Lay Lady Lay,” “Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here with You,” the non-LP “Watching the River Flow” — it is largely comprised of album tracks that became classics, either through Dylan’s own version or through covers.
Aerosmith’s Greatest Hits remains one of the most popular and enduring best-of collections by any rock band, selling nearly ten million copies in the U.S. alone since its release. But when it was issued in 1980, the band had just about reached its nadir. With original guitarist Joe Perry gone (and Brad Whitford soon to follow), Aerosmith had turned into a directionless, time-consuming ghost of its former self.
If you're an air guitarist, Al di Meola has likely been your man since his days as an unknown 21-year-old addition to Chick Corea's Return to Forever in the mid-'70s. Over the years since leaving RTF, he has been afforded the opportunity to record regularly, and this CD represents a good overview of his discography, primarily for the Columbia family of labels. His early dates Land of the Midnight Sun, Elegant Gypsy, and Casino are well represented, in addition to his collaborations with Jan Hammer on Tour de Force: Live. His middle-period efforts are not all that vital, as repeat ideas and predictable flash lost their original value even to the staunchest fans, therefore making this collection less than essential.
Is there an ideal song compilation for every band? I don’t think so.
I like Chicago a lot, despite its stylistic changes in its long discography (Jazz Rock to Pop Rock). I lost track of this band after Chicago VII (1977), where the memorable “Wishing You Were Here” appears.
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music
Free Form Jazz Fusion at its Best
Weather Report’s I Sing the Body Electric is an album that I’ve only recently been able to handle and appreciate. It’s extremely free form, pulling in sounds ranging from low spoken murmurs to more classic jazz soloing to strange atonal feedback. The album is custom made for lying back with headphones, as the mix is very open and airy. I feel like I’m floating in a spacy dream. The tonality will slide from pleasant melodic major phrases to chaos almost seamlessly, tricking you into thinking there was planned structure for just a moment and then flying off again into the stratosphere.
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection
4.5 stars really!!!!
As I explained in the BoF review, the tensions between Hammer and Goodman on one side and McLaughlin and Cobham on the other, started destroying the group and taking into the abyss the third album’s recording sessions with the group, Columbia decided to bring out as a third offering a live album, which consisted of brand new and unreleased material: the three extended tracks on the live album being found in their original dimension on the Lost Trident Sessions. What really happened is that Mc and Cobham wanted to release the LTS tapes as a finished album, while Hammer, Goodman and now joined by Laird opposed it. This led to an imminent break-up, but the group owing one more album to Columbia settled on recording their august 73 Central Park concert. The group would soldier on until New Year’s Eve in Toledo. After which, McLaughlin build from scratch a new line-up of MO that would go on to record three albums of its own.