Al Laurence Dimeola
Born: Jul 22, 1954 in Jersey City, NJ
Styles: Pop/Rock, World Fusion, Fusion, Jazz-Rock, Guitar Virtuoso, Contemporary Jazz, Jazz Instrument, Guitar Jazz, International, Tango
South American Traditions
Instruments: Guitar, Guitar (Electric)
Guitarist Al di Meola first rose to prominence as a blazing jazz fusion player before his playing matured and he began to conquer other styles, such as acoustic Latin music. Born on July 22, 1954, in Jersey City, NJ, di Meola briefly studied at the Berklee School of Music in Boston during the early '70s before accepting a job replacing guitarist Bill Connors in fusion trailblazers Return to Forever (a group that included such monster instrumentalists as keyboardist Chick Corea and bassist Stanley Clarke) in 1974. It was with di Meola that Return to Forever enjoyed their greatest commercial success, as such releases as 1974's Where Have I Known Before, 1975's No Mystery, and 1976's Romantic Warrior cracked the U.S. Top 40 before di Meola jumped ship to launch a solo career.
What followed remains some of the finest jazz fusion guitar-based recordings ever: 1976's Land of the Midnight Sun, 1977's Elegant Gypsy (which would eventually earn gold certification in the U.S.), and Casino, plus 1979's Splendido Hotel, before uniting with fellow guitar greats John McLaughlin and Paco de Lucia for 1980's Friday Night in San Francisco. Throughout the '80s and '90s, di Meola racked up numerous accolades (including earning yearly top honors in Guitar Player Magazine polls), kept on issuing solo releases on a regular basis, and played with others, including releases by Stomu Yamash'ta, Paul Simon, Stanley Jordan, and David Matthews, as well as further work with such former bandmates as Corea, Clarke, de Lucia, and McLaughlin. During the '90s, di Meola turned his back almost entirely on fusion to concentrate more on acoustic-based world music, as evidenced by such releases as World Sinfonia, Di Meola Plays Piazzolla, and Heart of the Immigrants, among others. Since that time, Di Meola has continued this eclectic approach with releases like 2003's Revisited, 2006's Consequence of Chaos, and 2007's Diabolic Inventions and Seduction for Solo Guitar, Vol. 1: Music of Astor Piazzolla.
- Greg Prato (All Music Guide)
Ди Меола Эл (р. 1954, Нью-Джерси) - американский джазовый музыкант (гитара, электроклавишные), композитор, руководитель ансамбля).
С 5 лет обучался игре на ударных инструментах, в 8 лет - на концертной гитаре. Увлекся блюзом, рок-музыкой и джаз-роком, слушал и изучал грамзаписи популярных рок-гитаристов. Для продолжения образование приехал в Нью-Йорк, где познакомился и завязал дружбу с одним из своих кумиров - Ларри Кориеллом, который стал его наставником. После окончания школы поступил в Berklee College of Music в Бостоне (самый престижный джазовый колледж в США). С 1973 начал сотрудничать с "Чиком" Кориа, выступал в его группе RETURN TO FOREVER. Занимался студийной работой с собственными ансамблями, в которых играл на акустической гитаре и электрогитаре, разнообразных электроклавишных инструментах, концертировал как солист. В 1979 примкнул к гитарному комбо Джона Маклафлина (членами которого были также испанский гитарист Пако Де Лусиа и Л. Кориелл). Вскоре (после ухода Кориелла) стал постоянным участником этого ансамбля (трио), с которым дал более 50 концертов в Америке и Западной Европе. Записался на пластинки как солист и своими группами (Elegant Cipsy - 1976, Casino - 1977 и др.) а также с другими музыкантами.
Международную известность завоевал благодаря исключительному виртуозному мастерсту, яркому импровизаторскому дару, богатству фантазии, оригинальности мелодического и гармонического мышления. С самого начал тяготел к синтезу ("фьюжнированию") разнообразных стилевых элементов - фри-джаза, рока, блюза, неевропейского этнического музыкального материала, академической концертной гитарной музыки, испанского фламенко, самбы и босановы. Один из немногих современных гитаристов, которым удалось добиться индивидуального качества звука в условиях использования электросаунда. Входит в число ведущих музыкантов фьюжн (мэйнстрим-фьюжн, лирико-романтического кул-фьюжн, фри-фьюжн и креативного джаза). Склонен к медитативности и вместе с тем к концертно-виртуозной манере игры. Является также одним из наиболее значительных представителей фламенко-джаза. В сотрудничестве с Л. Кориеллом культивировал фри-фьюжн и джаз-рок с ярко выраженной окраской. Автор ряда экспериментальных композиций.
Al Di Meola holds the most prestigious guitar awards (of any guitarist in the world) from the highest rated guitar poll in the world, Guitar Player Magazine. He has been known throughout the world for the past two and a half decades as one of the most prominent virtuosos in the contemporary instrumental jazz field.
Al Di Meola's highly celebrated career has spanned a wide range of emotions into a unique style embodying the artists world inspired influences. From the velocity and heat of his early solo efforts to the challenge and triumph of the "Di Meola/McLaughlin/De Lucia (Guitar Trio)", from the Brazilian explorations of Cielo e Terra and Soaring Through A Dream to the global romanticism and Tango inflection of Al's acoustic group "World Synfonia" (self titled debut) and the 2nd "World Sinfonia" recording Heart of the Immigrants.
From the beginning of his solo career, where records like Land of the Midnight Sun, Elegant Gypsy and Casino, were amongst the highest selling records of any instrumental artist at that time. Al Di Meola continues to make, with respect, startling achievements in music pioneering while the decline of U.S. radio continues to elude most interesting contemporary music.
Al Di Meola, again and again, reveals himself as a seasoned, gifted, contemporary composer and a player of deepening grace and evocative lyricism. He has been continually sited by many of the top prominent music critics around the world for his virtuosic guitar work and compositions. Al's intrigue with complex rhythmic syncopation combined with provocative lyrical melodies, always incorporating sophisticated harmony at the root of these serious, but heart felt works is central and foremost.
His awesome technique and musical depth can be traced back and is world renown from his debut with Chick Corea and "Return to Forever" in 1974. In 1980, marked the triumph of the "Super Guitar Trio" with Paco De Lucia and John McLaughlin. The record Friday Night In San Francisco became a landmark recording resulting in wide acclaim. The result of which, surpassed two million records in sales. They toured from 1980 through 1983 and reunited for a 3rd CD, Guitar Trio, in 1996 followed by a world tour. In early 1996, Al Di Meola formed a new trio with the likes of Jean Luc Ponty and Stanley Clarke (The Right of Strings).
Di Meola has assembled what he describes as his "best group by far in my career". The name of this new group is the "Al Di Meola World Sinfonia 2000", featuring musicians from Argentina, Cuba and Israel.
He has recorded over 21 records (CD's) of his own including his new solo acoustic guitar record Winter Nights. A very intimate recording of Di Meola himself alternating between two gorgeous vintage acoustic guitars and a bandura (a 48-string harp like instrument) played by a musician from Ukraine named Roman Hrynkiv. The music is centered on a holiday winter theme with songs ranging from four originals, four Christmas related pieces and two well-known pop pieces. One being "Mercy Street" by Peter Gabriel and "Scarborough Fair" by Paul Simon. Di Meola's choice of music on this record combined with his originals has a particular concurrent thematic mood.
Al believes this record is audibly the best sounding record he's ever recorded. In addition to Roman Hrynkiv on Bandura, Hernan Romero, Al's friend and musical partner is assisting with production and acoustic rhythm guitar on two tracks.
Among some of the names in his illustrious career, with whom Al has recorded or played with include the likes of Chick Corea, Luciano Pavoratti, Paco De Lucia, Paul Simon, Phil Collins, Santana, John McLaughlin, Larry Coryell, Steve Winwood, Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Jaco Pastorius, Les Paul, Jean Luc Ponty, Steve Vai, Frank Zappa, Milton Nascimento, Egberto Gismonti, Jimmy Page, Tony Williams, Stanley Clarke, Stevie Wonder, Irakere and many more.
As World Sinfonia and Heart of the Immigrant's evocative melodies and rhythmic diversity were greatly influenced by the late Argentinian tango master Astor Piazzolla. On Kiss My Axe, Infinite Desire and Orange and Blue, he shows a broader cultural and musical scope. However, the friendship between Astor Piazzolla and Al Di Meola before Astor's death, greatly moved the guitarist into deepening his considerable ties to the music of Argentina and the classical world. "Piazzolla had a profound effect on my development as a musician and as a person. We became close friends often communicating by mail, which later during the coarse of this my admiration and desire to learn more about this great man intensified." "Chick Corea is also a major influence in my life, he has always been a wonderful supporter, major musical inspiration and a friend." "Playing with Chick was the first significant step in my development as a player."
Born in an Italian family, and growing up in New Jersey, young Al Di Meola divided his time between guitar lessons and hanging out at the local salsa clubs. Influenced greatly by jazz guitarist Larry Coryell, Di Meola enrolled at Berklee College of Music in Boston, where his marathon practice sessions are still the stuff of legends (Al continues to be the technical master by which other guitarists are measured). "We had three guys in one space; one in one room, one in the bathroom and I got the closet". After a brief stint with keyboardist Barry Miles, Di Meola, at 19 was tapped by Chick Corea in 1974 for Return to Forever. His star quickly ascended.