First time available on CD!
There exists a universe of really good guitar players on planet Earth but only a small catalogue among them transcends human norms, causing jaws to drop whenever they strap an axe on. Al Di Meola’s one of the latter, a fretbender so accomplished that adjectives pale. He debuted rather auspiciously in the famed Return to Forever combo, replacing Bill Connors as the group ramped up into a fusion mode so heady that it, for a time, redefined what acumen and the genre itself were. I caught him in Tampa in the 70s, opening for Weather Report (with Jaco), and was astounded by what the gent could pull off as easily live as on LP (this was the pre-CD era. y’all).
Morocco Fantasia presents the wunderkind amid an assemblage named the World Sinfonia (it’s a five-piece, but, hey, I’m not about to argue semantics here) in a world music fest that’s quite fusiony. I find it arresting that Ancient Future is re-releasing its older world music issuances, while touring a fantastically adept reunion just as this CD emerges and shows, along with Matthew Montfort and his crew, what the upper limits of such musics can be. The mode started with Oregon, Beyond, Osamu Kitajima, and others (not to mention Third Ear Band, Dzyan, and the proggier ensembles), later slumping into Steve Halpern and Georgia Kelly until catching its second wind and fusing into the Narada label, Michael Hedges, still later the CandyRatters, and then ongoing efforts such as this CD showcases.