Classic Rock Review

The home of old record and bootleg reviews…

Al Di Meola Casino (1978)


Well what all else can be said that has not already been said about Al Di Meola? The man is hands down the greatest Guitarist to ever live and he is a 1,000 times better than Jimi Hendrix. So the next time you hear that Hendrix is the greatest guitarist of all time, they either do not know what they are talking about or are lying to you. Speaking of which in my personal opinion people were too messed up on drugs back then and that is my theory of why Hendrix and The Grateful Dead are so overrated to name a few. Until proven otherwise Al Di Meola is the most devastating guitarist in the whole world. No one is better. No one!

Now as for the cd, here we have one of the best instrumental solo albums ever released in Di Meola’s musical career. This album is a masterpiece and is clearly a jem. Al’s mind boggling guitar picking, finger tapping, and musical fusions are all here. Just sit back and listen to the Teacher show you a thing or two about how to play the guitar.

1. Egyptian Danza:
This first song has a very exotic melody as per the title. Beautifully genius guitar licks and riffs that showcase Al Di Meola at his finger picking/finger licking good. Most guitarists will wish they could only play half as good as he does on this song. Like to point out how Mr. Di Meola always has a lot of depth, emotion, and soul in his songs. This song proves how this guitarist can make his guitar go through all types of various musical mood changes. And to think there was a time that people claimed he had no soul in his early playing days.

2. Chasin’ The Voodoo:
This song is really good especially the drumming, beats, loops, and synthesizers that enhance the guitar playing. The main riff is just awesome! One thing like to point out about Al Di Meola that differentiates him from the rest of the pack is that he makes albums that are not just great guitar chop records, but rather albums that are musical records. Artists should always make sure to surround themselves with other talented people to enhance the vibe of their recordings. Too many instrumentals albums have great guitars, but not enough of the other parts. In essence most solo/instrumental albums are not as good as they could of or should have been. Remember Di Meola’s albums are not just great guitar chop records, they are great musical records. So expect a lot of fusions of various genres in his songs.

3. Dark Eye Tango:
On this one the mood is slowed down to give the album a shift from a progressive fast pace from the previous songs to a smoothing, relaxing, and very romantic vibe. While this is a slower ballad type of song, it is still good, with a hooking upbeat. I.E. you will not fall asleep and you will not want to skip this song.

4. Senor Mouse:
Here we have a song with a lot of Latin flavour. This song has a vibe along the lines of a Santana type of song with Latin dance vibes, some flamenco, and other genres as well thrown in the mix. This song is not a very fast song, but it not a slow one either and is just another example of how this man loves to take his music to the next level by mixing things up and avoiding the musical norm.

5. Fantasia Suite For Two Guitars
a. Viva La Danzarina
b. Guitars of The Exotic Isle
c. Rhapsody Italia
d. Bravoto Fantasia
Well here we have a “Suite” themed song that is divided in to 4 parts. Part A has a beautiful intro guitar lick that resembles some of the licks that Eddie Van Halen did in the early days with the acoustic guitar. I wonder if Al Di Meola or this album influenced him in those songs. Then the song shift to some exotic classical licks reminiscent of something the locals in Hawaii would play. Next shift in the song goes to some classical old Italian guitar techniques that may seem out of place in this up-tempo song, yet still fit. The final part of the song changes back to the similar moods of the way the song began with the acoustic guitar licks that sound very up-tempo with a flamenco/bolero guitar styles that are flying all over the place. This song is just vintage Di Meola.

6. Casino:
Finally, the title cut. Al Di Meola saves the best for last. A song that has a lot of texture, progression, melody, and of course fusion which is signifies the skills of the guitarist godly talent. The vintage Di Meola-esque guitar shredding is here (Di Meola always had a knack of being able to play super fast while keeping his sound super clean) and as expected the sound is very unique. The song is very progressive with lots of notes coming at you from all directions.

Well there you go. Al Di Meola is Guitar God and will go down with the best of them. Like to point out that this cd also helped put socks in the mouths of his early critics that claimed he did not have his own signature style….did they ever take into consideration how young he was back then in reference to his musical career? Well no one these doubts Al’s guitar playing and this cd set the stage for his brilliant solo career that kept evolving.

April 8, 2013 - Posted by | Al Di Meola Casino |

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