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Al Di Meola – The Infinite Desire (1998)

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Al Di Meola – The Infinite Desire (1998)


1. Beyond the Mirage 07:19     
2. Shaking the Spirits 06:30     
3. Vizzini 04:54     
4. In My Mother's Eyes (Memory of Teresa) 04:41     
5. The Infinite Desire 05:27     
6. Invention of the Monsters 03:05     
7. Istanbul 08:00     
8. Azzura 02:55     
9. Big Sky Azzura 06:08     
10. Race With the Devil on Turkish Highway 04:02     
11. Valentina 04:44     
12. The Infinite Desire 05:27

Personnel: 
Al DiMeola (vocals, acoustic, electric & nylon string guitars, harp, synthesizer,
 marimba, cymbals, finger cymbals, percussion); 
Kabuli Nitasa (vocals, violin); 
Pino Daniele, Layla Francesca, Oriana DiMeola (vocals); 
Mario Parmisiano (strings, piano, keyboards, synthesizer); 
Rachel Z (piano, keyboards, programming); 
Herbie Hancock (piano); 
Steve Vai (electric guitar); 
John Patitucci (acoustic & electric basses); 
Tom Kennedy (acoustic bass); 
Peter Erskine, Ernie Adams (drums); 
Gumbi Ortiz (congas); 
Spyros Poulos (programming).

 

With the help of new generations of guitar synthesizers and samplers, The Infinite Desire finds a mature, lyrical, more expressive Al di Meola casting his lot with Telarc, which until the late '90s had concentrated its attentions upon aging acoustic jazzers. Indeed, he makes marvelously musical use of the new devices, creating sensuous, exotic layers of sound that lie easily upon the ear, without much of the usual harshness of digital instruments generated by those who haven't bothered to master them. "Shaking the Spirits" in particular is a fascinating piece, loaded with dazzling Middle Eastern and African colorations, and the sampled trumpet sound he gets on "Valentina" is astoundingly lifelike. Also, di Meola's playing became more unabashedly fluid in the '90s; on the closest thing to a straight-ahead track, "Invention of the Monsters," di Meola's electric guitar curls intricately and swingingly around the bass of Tom Kennedy, Ernie Adams' drums, and some synthesized brass. Di Meola's co-conspirators change from track to track, although two who figure a lot in the sound and package are keyboardist Rachel Z (a former di Meola sidewoman) and bassist John Patitucci. Also check out Herbie Hancock on acoustic grand and Peter Erskine's drums on "Istanbul," and di Meola's fairly good-natured duel with rock guitarist Steve Vai on "Race with Devil on Turkish Highway." --- Richard S. Ginell, All Music Guide

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