Al Di Meola – Al Di Meola Plays Piazzolla (1996)

FrontCover1.jpgDi Meola Plays Piazzolla is an album by Al Di Meola which is a tribute to Argentinian composer Ástor Piazzolla. Eight of the ten songs were written by Piazzolla. Di Meola is accompanied by percussionist Arto Tuncboyacian and Dino Saluzzi, who plays bandoneon. Vince Mendoza provided some of the string arrangements. (by wikipedia)

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. (by Alex Henderson)

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Allthough this is Al Di Meola playing Piazzolla´s compositions in his style, and not Al Di Meola´s own compositions, don´t be afraid to try out this album as it is close to his work on the World Sinfonia albums, especially Heart of the Immigrants where four of the songs from Al Di Meola plays Piazzolla are also featured: Night Club 1960, Tango II, Bordel 1900 and the beautiful Milonga del Angel.

Piazolla is most known for playing complicated tango compositions on his bandoneón which included jazz and classical influences. He is widely considered as the creator of the music genre Nuevo Tango. This means that it is not your traditional tango on display here. The music on this album is very complicated but at the same time mellow and almost easy listening ( Not in a bad way though).

The production is worth mentioning too, as it is flawless and a real pleasure to listen to. (by Umur)

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Personnel:
Chris Carrington (guitar)
Al Di Meola (guitar, pandean pipe, vocals, percussion)
Gumbi Ortiz (percussion)
Hernan Romero (keyboards, charango, vocals)
Dino Saluzzi (bandoneon)
Arto Tunçboyacıyan (percussion, vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. Oblivión (Piazzolla) 6.04
02. Café 1930 (Piazzolla) 6.16
03. Tango Suite, Pt. I (Piazzolla) 8.49
04. Tango Suite, Pt. III (Piazzolla) 8.51
05. Verano Reflections (Piazzolla/Di Meola) 4.13
06. Night Club 1960 (Piazzolla) 5.50
07. Tango II (Piazzolla) 5.36
08. Bordel 1900 (Piazzolla) 4.33
09. Milonga del Angel (Piazzolla) 3.48
10. Last Tango For Astor (Di Meola) 6.18

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