Al Di Meola: OPUS
by Laura Turner Lynch
Al Di Meola - "Al Di Meola's ongoing fascination with complex rhythmic syncopation combined with provocative lyrical melodies and sophisticated harmony has been at the heart of his music throughout a celebrated career that has spanned four decades and earned him critical accolades, three gold albums and more than six million in record sales worldwide." Di Meola was a stellar guitar player in the 1970's. He has only continued to grow as an artist culminating in the aptly titled Opus. Al's latest release showcases eleven opulent instrumentals that meander through vibrant melodies, moods, tempos and textures. We journey with the master on songs that reflect his life and travels. The opener "Milonga Noctiva" is a nuanced spin on Nuevo Tango. "Ava's Dream Sequence Lullaby" was inspired by his daughter. In the informative liner notes Al shares that this progressive piece "started as a simple lullaby turned into a suite". The flavorful and fluid "Cerreto Sannita" captures a moving moment when Di Meola visited his grandfather's village in Italy. "Notorious" is Al's nod to Led Zeppelin and the closer "Rebels" reflects musical influences starting at St. Marks Place (NYC) to Little Havanna in Miami. On the rich and riveting Opus, Al Di Meola attests that he is a sill an agile yet experimental guitar great.