For his Telarc debut, The Infinite Desire, guitar legend Al Di Meola fuses his jazz and world music interests for an album that is strong on both composition and performance. His cast of collaborators includes noted jazzers Peter Erskine, John Patitucci and Rachel Z, Italian pop star Pino Daniele, rock guitar god Steve Vai, and core band members Ernie Adams, Tom Kennedy, Gumbi Ortiz and Mario Parmisano.
On The Infinite Desire, Di Meola organically integrates '90s technology into one of the most evocative and musically satisfying albums in his celebrated career. From the dramatic opener "Beyond the Mirage" to the evocative "Istanbul" and the tender title track, from the atmospheric "Shaking the Spirits" to the jazzy "Invention of the Monsters" to the floating, ethereal "Azzura" and the harmonically developed "Vizzin," Di Meola plays with equal parts passion, grace and fire. "Race with Devil on Spanish Highway" (from Elegant Gypsy), performed here with fellow guitar hero Steve Vai. The soothing "Valentina" features Al triggering a convincing trumpet sample to lyrical effect while his more sensitive side comes across on the gentle, heartfelt ballad "In My Mother's Eyes."
Starting with his brilliant 1974 debut in the guitar chair of Chick Corea's band Return to Forever, Al Di Meola's incredibly fruitful career has spanned a range of styles, emotions and continents. From his velocity and heat of his early solo efforts to the challenge of the Di Meola / McLaughlin / DeLucia guitar trios, from the Brazilian explorations of Cielo e Terra and Soaring Through a Dream to the global romanticism of Al's acoustic group World Sinfonia, Di Meola has evolved into a composer of grace and thoughtful lyricism. Never content to rest on his considerable laurels, Di Meola still challenges himself and his music. The Infinite Desire is the latest step in that never-ending journey of discovery. (concordmusicgroup. com)