Review and Photos by Fred Kuhlman
Promoter: Danny Zelisko Presents (https://www.dannyzeliskopresents.com/ )
Venue: Talking Stick Resort – Showroom (https://www.talkingstickresort.com/ )
Date: Saturday February 15th, 2020
Tour: Past Present and Future
I first heard of Al Di Meola when he was part of the fusion supergroup Return To Forever with Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke and Lenny White. I had never seen Al perform until just a couple of years ago when he came through the Phoenix area with his Al Di Meola Acoustic Trio band. Al is an extremely accomplished guitar player and has expanded his music from fusion jazz to more of a “world music style” sound. This includes jazz, Spanish influenced acoustic guitar works and the reinterpretation of classic Beatles songs.
For tonight’s show, Al has pulled together some remarkable musicians include longtime friends Peo Alfonsi on grand piano and Fausto Beccalossi on accordion with percussionist Sergio Martinez. This was a very subdued concert for me (I do a lot of metal shows), but it was very enjoyable. It was entirely instrumental with no singing. You actually got to hear each musician and how they mastered the instruments. Al was simple marvelous. The way his fingers played across the frets put him in a class of his own. I have seen many GREAT guitarists from jazz to metal and Al is still one of the best I have ever seen. Peo, Fausto and Sergio blended perfectly with Al and never overpowered him but provided a harmony that enhanced the music. If you want to see and hear a concert where your ears are not blown out then Al’s show is perfect. I highly recommend it for all ages.
In March Al starts his tour of the East Coast of USA and then at end of April they tour Germany. You can find more information out about Al, his music and his upcoming tour dates on his website: https://www.aldimeola.com/ . Also check Al out on his Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/AlDiMeolaMusic/ .
Since this was an acoustic show, only a few venues (IMO) can really do justice to this style of performance. The Talking Stick Resort Showroom is one of them. It is a small venue and the sound system is extremely good. There is also not a bad seat in the place. If you get a chance to see a show at the showroom, it will be well worth it. Upcoming shows include Human Nature, Jimme Vaughan, Steven Wright, The Robert Cray Band and one of my personal favorites, Kathleen Madigan in June. Please check out Danny Zelisko Presents website or Talking Stick Resort website for further details on these and other upcoming shows and ticket pricing.
Photos © Fred Kuhlman 2019, All Rights Reserved
Setlist: (Album / Cover)
Azzura (The Guitar Trio)
Milonga Noctiva (Opus)
Mawazine (Pursuit of Radical Rhapsody)
Brave New World (Pursuit of Radical Rhapsody)
Ava’s Dream Sequence Lullaby (Opus)
Double Concerto (Astor Piazzolla cover)
Because (All Your Life / Beatles Cover)
Hey Jude (Across The Universe / Beatles cover)
Til There Was You (The Music Man / Meredith Willson cover)
Café 1930 (Heart of the Immigrants)
Frozen In Time (Opus)
Mediterranean Sundance (Elegant Gypsy)