From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Al Di Meola. ISBN X. Retrieved 27 October Tour De Force — Live. Rite Of Strings.
Magic Touch. Support players give standup performances as well-- especially Jan Hammer's keyboards. One thing about this album which I think deserves special mention is its entirely dated production and super-slick feel-- which positively screams Listening to Elegant Gypsy is like stepping into a time machine The campiness contrasts with the musicianship so well that its hard to imagine Di Meola's performances without them. Most would probably find his hyper-fast noodling pretentious if not set against this rich palette of 's cheese.
A must for fans seeking some energetic, exciting fusion-- on par and perhaps surpassing some of the best. Begins with a slow guitar melody, backed up by weird sounds and soon a nice drum beat. There is some great keyboard as well! A groovy bass riff and some bongos quickly give way to an explosion of Latin Jazz. There are some great dueling guitar and keyboard solos backed up by some wonderfully funky bass and Latin drumming. Things slowly decelerate and it ends right where the song began.
The guitar solos are nice, and fairly melodic. Overall, its a fairly slow, song and much less upbeat sounding then the first. I was in heaven during the last minute or drum madness!
My favorite song on the album. This might be the fastest song on the album, with crazy shred like jazz fusion solos throughout and some wonderful dual harmonies between Di Meola and Paco, Paco himself shows off some virtuoso skill. In fact this song is almost all them, with very little percussion or anything else for that matter. Sit back and enjoy the beautiful yet extremely fast paced harmonies and solos! A perfect song. My second favorite on the album, and a close second starts with a cool bass riff and some random, kind of heavy guitar, with bursts of speed.
It is a very progressive song with crazy tempo and style changes throughout, and even in slower sections there are random bursts of jazz fusion. Shortly before 3 minutes one of the shred solos come in, followed by a slower ambient section mostly about the synth and drums.
This song also has some of the grooviest bass riffs you'll hear. A little before 5 minutes is a frantic, insanely fast section with dual guitars, soon followed along by bass and keyboards. Nice ending as well. Lady of Rome, Sister of Brazil. A short transition song. Very soothing. A 9 minute song, this is also the most progressive on the album.
Complex, layered, and runs the gambit of music. Anything you can imagine is on this song, and the musicianship can not be understated. They are all great, and each contribute perfectly. A very proggy, jazz fusion song that has some really weird sounding parts. What's not to love!? Elegant Gypsy is one of those rare albums. One of those no doubt five star albums.
It is short, but what does that really matter? What's here is amazing. I love every song, and have no problem listening to whole thing straight. There is nothing wrong with it really. While every member who contributed is great, Al Di Meola is the star of the album.
He is amazingly fast, yet smooth and can also play some wonderful melodies. While his style of playing may have been an influence on shredders very few have the level of musicianship Al does, and none except MAYBE Steve Vai or Joe Satriani have the emotion he does. Again, perfect album, no hesitation. I think, even musician list is there one of the best during ADM career.
In many places the music is near best RTF examples, just more guitar oriented. Lenny White brings very RTF drumming. Big album plus is very different melodies,rhythms and musical arrangements. All sound fresh and impressible. Elegant Gypsy stands as a fan favourite here and it's no mystery to see why. In a baffling 37 minute short album, Al Di Meola gets more balls rolling then most bands would in an entire career.
Flight Over Rio kicks off with a meditative eastern flavour before turning into a surging jazz rock attack that any fan off the genre will instantly devour.
The battle between Hammer's dashing keyboards and Al Di Meola's virtuosity is absolutely stunning. After the astounding opener, the album continues through 4 equally pleasing extended pieces.
It covers all fusion ground you can think off: jazz rock, flamenco, tango, salsa. The lot. The most amazing aspect of it all is how classy this is all done. For music of this intensive virtuosity, things are never overcooked. You won't hear any notes a second wizardry unless it has to be there; fast sections are balanced against more laid back parts; heavy rock merges with nearly cheesy mellowness.
But it never crosses the line where sophistication becomes kitsch. Rarely does an album both have this kind of virtuosity and elegance.
Hearing this back after so many years I really wonder how I could neglect this album for so long. It's not that I was tired of fusion, I must just have completely forgotten about it. Shame on me! With a searing tone, di Meola offers blistering solos interspersed with light, dazzling keyboard runs. The guitarist lets off his distortion to provide a sweet clean tone.
Despite gracing through a variety of passages, the music maintains a unified sound and some pleasant, compelling themes. The percussion tacked on to the end has nothing to do with the piece proper- I shrug my shoulders and await the next tune. The lightning guitar licks jump in and out.
Eventually a peaceful rhythm takes shape, featuring a noteworthy bass line and fantastic lead work. The next segment has a dark riff occasionally answered by rapid guitar runs. The fourth passage is smooth and slick, a variation on the theme from before. Finally, expect brisk and technically challenging runs before the remarkable conclusion. The middle section features some fabulous keyboard moments over a moody background that has a similar bass riff to the middle theme in "Race with Devil on Spanish Highway.
Listening to this album for the first time turned out to be a pleasant surprise indeed, even though this can't be said about the opening track Flight Over Rio. The engaging intro riff is very promising but the excessive soloing throughout the rest of the track brings this composition down a few notches for me. Seeing that the first track offered me exactly everything I disliked about Al Di Meola's style I almost wanted to turn this CD off in a haste.
Fortunately I continued listening and was rewarded with creative performances on Midnight Tango and who can forget the acoustic guitar duet with Paco De Lucia on Mediterranean Sundance? Unlike Flight Over Rio this material showed a bigger chunk of this artists' range that never was tapped into on the Return To Forever-albums. Race With Devil On Spanish Highway starts with an impressive show of skill from Meola which fortunately doesn't just end up as another predictable scale run-through. There is a very tight balance between the composition work and Al Di Meola's guitar skills that never tilt the cup over to one side.
Up to this point everything I've heard on Elegant Gypsy has been interesting and refreshing by Al Di Meola standards but nothing that I haven't heard on other guitar virtuoso albums. Instead it was Elegant Gypsy Suite that finally managed to win me over completely.
Even though this story arc unfolded in a a true Romantic Warrior fashion where it was the final composition, titled Duel Of The Jester And The Tyrant , that stole the show it only took me less than thirty seconds to realize that I loved the Elegant Gypsy Suite!
The main riff is a total killer and the whole composition just grabs a hold of you and doesn't let go until the final bang at the end. I guess that there is not point in arguing whether Al Di Meola is a great guitarist or not since it all comes down to personal taste.
Still I would like to thank everyone who recommended Elegant Gypsy since this experience was well worth to undertake. Simply an excellent addition to any prog rock music collection! Al Di Meola can be disciped as one of the key-figures of the electric guitar.
His style is often referred to and ofcourse both his solocareer and his work with Return to Forever made him famous. The style of 'Elegant Gypsy' moves between three elements: fusion, flamenco and smoothly arranged rock.
The recording of this album sounds professional, but I can't say I like it. It does not have an authentic sound, way to electric. The acoustic arrangements are acceptable though. The bass- guitar sounds like a keyboard and keyboard sounds are way too eighties for me.
The arrangements are kitch in my opinion. The guitar sound of Di Meola is however very good throughout. His thick Les Paul sound is a blessing. The composition on this album is what might be interesting for the listener of progressive music. There are many instrumental parts on every track and most of them are quite sophisticated, or at least intelligent.
It's an instrumental album, dominated by guitars. I won't be adding many appraisal to this long list of enthousiastic reviewers. This is in my opinion a good, but non-essential album. The composition is strong, the instrumentation is good, but it's style is so polished and non-authentic. It makes me want to listen to the classic be-bop of Miles Davis!
With wind-instruments and a non-rock rhythm- section. This electric styled fusion doesn't touch me at all. Had the arrangements been less cheesy this would have been a four star album. One thing that I've always found bad on Al di Meola's music, specially on the live with McLaughlin and DeLucia is that the excessive technicalities make the music sound "cold" even when Latin. It's not the case with this album. Al doesn't indulge too much in solos and fast legatos as he usually does during live performances.
The guitar in almost all the songs makes an ensemble with the rest of the orchestration and Al plays fast only when it really makes sense. It's evident since the first song: "Flight Over Rio" is based on bass and keyboards. It takes some time before a guitar is heard and when it's there it plays few "right" notes. We have to wait for the samba section that's a very good example of easy jazz to find some guitaristic virtuosities, but they are part of the song, nothing self-indulgent.
The Fender piano reminds to Soft Machine, too. Several years before "Plays Piazzolla", Midnight Tango is not properly what the title says. It's the most progressive song of the album, instead. Now the song which made me buy the album. Respect to the live version Mediterranean Sundance has a long percussions intro that's totally useless as it fades out before the acoustic guitar starts its famous harping in A-.
Since here it's exactly how I saw in that video. Two overdubbed guitars, one for each stereo channel for a flamenco-like jazz song. The intro features a very fast guitar played in Spanish fashion, then it's fusion with some rock accents when the rhythm increases.
The work of Jackson at bass is remarkable, but of course all the musicians must be skilled to play this kind of music for this kind of artist. Well, I'm Italian and it's at least 25 years that I don't see a mandolin, however this is how he wanted to sound for less than 2 minutes.
The closer is the title track and also the best track of the album. It has all the elements of the previous track: jazz, funky, samba Articles Features Interviews Lists. Streams Videos All Posts. My Profile.
Advanced Search. Stream or buy on:. Track Listing. Flight over Rio. Mingo Lewis. Midnight Tango. Al Di Meola.