The Guitar Trio: Passion, Grace and Fire


Passion, Grace and Fire


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)

The Guitar Trio's Passion Grace & Fire was the follow-up to their highly successful and influential debut Friday Night in San Francisco. That first album had been recorded in front of a wildly excited audience that gave the record an additional kick. The tunes heard on PGF were all studio recorded. What this sacrificed in the buzz of audience participation, it gained in dynamics. Each note was now more open to scrutiny. Fans expected perfection, and they got it. There is not a flubbed note to hear.

The title cut was written by Al Di Meola. It comes in several sections. The first is clearly one of searching. One foot is in the water. Then two and three and four and six feet get wet. The midsection is a fun Spanish reggae of sorts, leading to playful soloing that includes plenty of fusillades. The tune turns introspective as smartly played arpeggios are presented in round-robin, tandem and in opposition. This creates a pensive but hypnotic atmosphere that carries the piece to its fading conclusion. Passion, grace and fire are all heard. I am just not sure they appear in that order.

Reviewer: Walter Kolosky

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