Archive for February, 2010

Al Di Meola – Consequence Of Chaos (TELARC)

February 25, 2010

I have already written about another work Electric Rendezvous released by Al Di Meola in 1981. Consequence Of Chaos has been released in 2006, so there are 25 years between them! It is very interesting such time distance allowing us to compare them. I like a lot the analog touch of Electric Rendezvous, what is not, of course, the case in the newer one, although its first-quality recording.
It is said that this album consolidates the return of the musician to the electric guitar universe, despite the fact he plays also acoustic instruments here.
I have been trying to relate the CD title to the music styles and it seems to me that they are linked to the chaotic style of the tracks. They are so well formulated that end up surprising us. They don’t follow a standard musical pattern, what makes them complex and, I think we can say chaotic. The style have also some flamenco flavoring.
After listening to Electric Rendezvous and Consequence of Chaos, we reach a conclusion that there is a tight link between them. Al Di Meola kept his features and style from 25 years ago. He is a guitar-riff and solos expert. Excellent compositions and a lot of creativity.

Best regards
Leonardo

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LA4 – Just Friends (Groove Note reissued)

February 17, 2010

I’m not sure about start writing about Laurindo Almeida by the fact I’m Brazilian, I’m not sure about starting from the other musicians by the fact they are great and I’m not sure about start writing about the recording quality, which is fabulous. Did you realize the level of what I’m talking about?

I’ll start with the above order since I have to start and I ended, unwittingly, establishing an order up.
Laurindo de Almerida is not exactly the central spot of this album, since LA4 is a group and not a solo work.
He was born in 1917. It means that his works are quite old. After being one of the Camren Miranda’s musicians, formed some contacts in Hollywood, becoming a very required musician and, then, establishing himself in Los Angeles.
He played several styles, bossa nova, classic, jazz and romantic. Unfourtunately he is not very known by the Brazilians nowadays.

I would give the major highlight in this work to the altoist Bud Shank. I usually dislike alto sax because its timbre is a little burnt and sour. But in this case, it isn’t! Was recorded with an superb timbre and is very comfortable for the ears (I need to send a copy to my friend Jay Beckenstein).
Well, since I already said something about the recording, I can say that listening to this record in customer grade stereo system is a heresy. This recording is so exquisite that make us freeze listening to all the tracks from start to finish.
This record was first released by Concord in direct cut mastering. I already had many Concord original LPs and always were a high quality synonym.
This Groove Note reissue was made in a way that preserves the analog elements of the original LPs. I perfectly remember the timbre of the original Concord records and I can say that this reissue keeps all the old original features.
Very high recommended, if you have tube amplifiers, then it is mandatory.

Best Regards
Leonardo

Larry Carlton – Fire Wire (Bluebird RCA)

February 13, 2010

Larry Carlton, veteran guitar player. He was already a studio musician, recorded with Michael Jackson, Steely Dan and much more.
He is most known as a jazz blues musician. Replaced Lee Ritenour in Fourplay. This band might be more popular than Larry himself, by the way. Fourplay is almost my favorite style, except by the fact that their music is very quiet and so well behaved but has my own respect despite that.
Perhaps, that was the reason why Larry Carlton decided to make Fire Wire? If you like Guitar Heroes (aka virtuous guitar player and not the video-game, ok?) you will enjoy this record a lot.
With a truly rock punch, guitar with more overdrive effects than usual, with blues, jazz and funk dressing.
Maybe Larry Carlton wanted to rebel himself against the so well behaved sound of Fourplay and decided to put all that into Fire Wire? The music are very nice. Reminded me the Satriani work I already commented here.
Another interesting point is as we go listening to music and trying to evaluate them, we become more familiar to the sound engineers than the artists (or musicians, since the good sound engs. are artists as well). Doug Sax was the responsible for the mastering (thanks God this guy is always present). He made a very interesting mastering, putting all the parts together, without creating much air gap between the instruments. A very typical rock’n roll mastering.
I ended this text up with the guy responsible for the mastering here. Is he an artist, or not?

Best Wishes
Leonardo