The Guitar Trio: Orient Blue Suite


Orient Blue Suite


The Guitar Trio


Passion Grace & Fire (Columbia CK 38645)

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John McLaughlin (acoustic guitar), Paco De Lucia (acoustic guitar), Al Di Meola (acoustic guitar).

Composed by Al Di Meola


Recorded: London, England, 1982


Rating: 95/100 (learn more)

"Orient Blue Suite" is one of Al Di Meola's more touching and dramatic compositions for The Guitar Trio. It is presented in three distinct parts. "Part I" features a reverberating melody floating above a bed of articulated chord and arpeggio patterns. Each player takes a turn at the dreamlike theme. In "Part II," McLaughlin, Di Meola and De Lucia offer sympathetic support for each other as they explore the tender side of acoustics. It is quite a beautiful exposition. But as often was the case with The Guitar Trio, even sections of music as effectively entertaining as "Part II" serve as an introduction to pyrotechnics. "Part III" is a frantic riff fest as each player turns up the intensity and notes-per-second quotient. No guitarists besides these three were capable of playing this fast together without losing focus on being part of an ensemble playing real melodies. Di Meola's Latin leanings take over as the piece comes to a rousing end rhythmic handclaps and all.

Reviewer: Walter Kolosky

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