Al Di Meola: Kiss My Axe


Kiss My Axe


Al Di Meola Project


Kiss My Axe (Tomato R2 79751)

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Al Di Meola (guitar, synthesizers),

Barry Miles (piano), Rachel Z (synthesizers), Anthony Jackson (bass), Omar Hakim (drums), Gumbi (congas), Art Tuncboyaciyan (percussion, voice)


Composed by Al Di Meola


Recorded: New York, May 1991


Rating: 85/100 (learn more)

Al Di Meola is well known for having an attitude. For years he has been quite vocal about his belief that the music business has failed progressive artists such as he is. As a fan of the more progressive side of rock and jazz, I tend to agree with many of his assessments. At the same time, sometimes I feel Di Meola does himself a disservice by being so blunt. "God bless him," I think as I read another scathing Di Meola letter to the editor of a music magazine. Why does he have to be so angry? And why doesn't he use an editor?

The title of this album is a perfect example. Kiss My Axe has two meanings. First, it refers to the erotic theme of the album. Di Meola is pictured on the cover with a half-naked woman and his guitar. This is the perfect metaphor. Second, the statement "kiss my axe" is a direct thumbing of his nose to the music establishment he feels abandoned him.

"Kiss my Axe" is actually less in your face than you would expect. Di Meola's guitar is warm in tone. As almost always with Di Meola, a Latin landscape is formed. (Of interest is that a few times on the album Di Meola explores some Eastern sounds not usually found in his bag.) His muted fingering, performed at breakneck speed, creates a vibe not unlike that heard in his rave-up tune "Egyptian Danza" from more than a decade earlier. Miles's piano brings a calming influence to the piece. What the tune lacks in the fusion energy of his earlier days, it makes up in his more sophisticated approach.

Reviewer: Walter Kolosky

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