PLAYS PIAZZOLLA, a tribute to Astor Piazzolla, combines previously-released tracks with new material.
Personnel includes: Al DiMeola (guitar); Dino Saluzzi (bandoneon).
Personnel: Al Di Meola (guitar, percussion); Chris Carrington (guitar, classical guitar); Hernan Romero (charango, keyboards); Dino Saluzzi (bandoneon); Gumbi Oritz (congas, percussion); Arto Tuncboyaciyan (percussion); Spyros Poulos (programming).
Recording information: 10/1990-09/1990.
Photographers: Camilla Van Zuylen; Richard Haughton; Richard Evans .
Unknown Contributor Role: Al Di Meola.
Arranger: Al Di Meola.
Latin music has been a strong influence on Al Di Meola since his early years, and in the '90s, he paid especially close attention to the music of Argentina. A welcome addition to his already impressive catalog, Di Meola Plays Piazzolla pays homage to the late Argentine tango master Astor Piazzolla (whose distinctive and very poetic brand of romanticism was considered quite daring and radical in Argentina). It would have been easy for an artist to allow his own personality to become obscured when saluting Piazzolla's legacy, but the charismatic Di Meola is too great an improviser to let that happen. Though his reverence for Piazzolla comes through loud and clear on these haunting classics, there's no mistaking the fact that this is very much an Al Di Meola project. ~ Alex Henderson
JazzTimes (4/97, pp.72-73) - "Listeners who still think of Al Di Meola merely as a fusion shredder haven't closely followed the more adventurous paths his career has taken--reflected by acoustic recordings...which reveal [his] subtle, deep feeling and thinking sides....approaches the frequently complex music with a combination of great aplomb and sensitivity..."
Musician (3/97, p.94) - "...Di Meola's tribute serves his (Piazolla's) memory well, with enough textural variation to maintain balance and intrigue....The other hero of this recording is Dino Saluzzi, the powerful bandoneon player who was in World Sinfonia and who supplies the reedy brilliance and virtuosity..."