Al Di Meola: Milonga Del Angel


Milonga del Angel


Al Di Meola (guitar, percussion)


Diabolic Inventions and Seduction for Solo Guitar, Volume 1: Music of Astor Piazzolla (Inakustik 9080)

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Al Di Meola (guitar, percussion).

Composed by Astor Piazzolla


Recorded: Rhinebeck, New York, January 2006


Rating: 90/100 (learn more)

I have a passion for Piazzolla, and look with satisfaction on how the music of this great master of nuevo tango still lives on more than 15 years after his death -- although his influence flourishes mostly outside the perimeter of the jazz world. Piazzolla had some interactions with jazz players during his career, perhaps most notably in his 1986 live recording with Gary Burton, but I am nonetheless surprised at how little attention the jazzistas pay to his legacy. By comparison, the bossa, samba, reggae and salsa styles seem to have penetrated the jazz mind more deeply. But Piazzolla and the tango tradition are just as potent as these other idioms, and one could profitably spend years exploring their riches.

Al Di Meola has done just that. He has been an advocate of Piazzolla's music for more than a decade, and previously recorded "Milonga del Angel" on his Di Meola Plays Piazzolla CD. He now contributes an intimate solo version as part of his first-rate recent release Diabolic Inventions and Seduction for Solo Guitar, Volume 1: Music of Astor Piazzolla. If you remember Al Di Meola for his fusion work and his stint with Return to Forever, you haven't experienced the full measure of his artistry. From the first, Di Meola had deep roots in World Music -- his flamenco flourishes are as authentic as you will find this side of the Atlantic, and his feel for the tango idiom could hardly be any deeper. This heartfelt performance is a fitting tribute to Piazzolla, and a reminder of how fine a guitarist Al Di Meola can be when placed in the right setting.

Reviewer: Ted Gioia

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