There are people who are different just for the sake of being different and then there are those who stand out because they are so much more accomplished than most of their contemporaries. Al Di Meola is someone who definitely belongs to the later group of individuals I described. He has always been that way.
As a teenager growing up in New Jersey he was an accomplished jazz, bosa nova and classical guitar player while still in his early teens. While the other kids were listening to Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix and Jimmy Page, the boy from Jersey City was learning more sophisticated music. We should point out (smile) that it was more because of the insistence of his instructor than it was his own decision. In fact, even today Di Meola freely admits he wanted to be learning how to play Beatle’s tunes and songs by the Ventures.
Di Meola’s nimble fingers tease the fretboard of his guitar creating a kaleidoscope of fusion colors comped by samba percussion beats with his most recent CD offering Consequence of Chaos. Through the magic of technology and laying down separate tracks Di Meola plays acoustic and electric guitars as well as percussion for many of the songs on this recording.
Victor Miranda’s plodding bass guitar provides the antithesis for the more ethereal keyboard work of Barry Miles and Mario Parmisano as "Tao" unfolds. Ernie Adams’ ample snare work brings the song to a close. Nestled away amongst all these longer melodies is a nice 2:09 guitar and percussion solo by Di Meola. The song is called "Sanctuary" and it is easy to understand why, as you close your eyes, feel the ocean breeze and drift away.
"Sanctuary" provides a nice segue into "Hypnose" a tune that starts off with a similar relaxing melody but picks up the pace as congos and bongos introduce an element of samba. If there is a weak composition on Consequence of Chaos, I haven’t heard it. Gumbi Ortiz and Ernie Adams percussion work provide texture and the regardless of who is playing the keys the chops are breathtaking. Chic Corea’s magnificent chops on "Red Moon" are spellbinding.
Whether it is the organic phrasing of "Cry For You" featuring the work of Corea (piano) and Di Meola (acoustic guitar) or the more sophisticated odyssey that is "Tempest" (9:00) Consequence of Chaos is a treasure trove. One of the coolest gems is the syncopated Afro-Cuban beat that is Africana Suite. Fifteen original masterpieces comprise Al Di Meola’s Consequence of Chaos and each of them has something unique to offer. These are stirring emotive pieces that will leave you yearning for more.