Al Di Meola: No Mystery
Al Di Meola (acoustic guitar)
World Sinfonia (Tomato R2 79750)
Al Di Meola (acoustic guitar),
Dino Saluzzi (bandoneon), Chris Carrington (classical guitar), Arto Tuncboyaci (percussion), Gumbi Ortiz (congas).
Composed by Chick Corea.
Recorded: New York, October 1990
Rating: 89/100 (learn more)
Every few years Al Di Meola has put together a version of the World Sinfonia. Of all of his projects, this is the most honest and heartfelt. The music is international in scope, all-acoustic and totally noncommercial. Dino Saluzzi, who plays the bandoneon, is the other principal soloist. The bandoneon is an Argentinean instrument that somewhat resembles a complicated accordion. It has buttons instead of keys. The buttons themselves are not arranged in a typical scalar fashion, so you have to literally memorize the placement of each note. The notes are even different depending on whether you play the instrument closed or open. It is not easy to play. It is also an acquired taste to listen to.
Saluzzi is Chick Corea on Corea's classic fusion composition "No Mystery." Al Di Meola plays himself the same way he did in Return to Forever. Di Meola has written a nice arrangement here. The memorable and uplifting theme is stated first. Di Meola and Saluzzi then play off each other in a serene spatial section. The tune stays pretty close to the original. But Di Meola has made room for some slow movements for Saluzzi. These add a lilting gentleness to the piece not found on Return to Forever's version. Also of note is that Di Meola does not use his trademark "muffled" note style in his solos. This is welcome. The tune, propelled by the percussionists, turns full Latin for awhile before a series of more textured sections arise. The band slowly reprises the theme to great content.
Reviewer: Walter Kolosky