Top Artists – Al Di Meola

Al Di Meola et al. / Friday Night in San Francisco – on Speakers Corner Heavy Vinyl

Sonic Grade: D?

The Speakers Corner remastered Heavy Vinyl pressing of this famous jazz album has two big strikes against it right from the get go. It’s both congested and hard.

With these guys hell-bent on one-upping each other right off of the stage, even our best Hot Stamper pressings struggle with clarity, transparency and harmonic sweetness

Do you really want to add all the problems of the modern remastered heavy vinyl pressing to a tape that already has plenty of its own?

Congested and hard is the kind of sound Speakers Corner should be quite familiar with by now. You can hear it on plenty of their mostly mediocre pressings.

Sourced from a digital tape of the master? Maybe, but who cares what tape was used to make this dog?

It’s a loser and should be avoided at any price.

Our Hot Stamper pressings of this album will be dramatically more transparent, open, harmonically-correct, resolving of musical information, clear and just plain REAL sounding, because these are the most obvious areas in which heavy vinyl pressings tend to fall short, if our experience with hundreds of them over the last few decades has any bearing.

(more…)

Al Di Meola – Land Of The Midnight Sun

More Al Di Meola

More Jazz Rock Fusion

  • A stunning copy of this Fusion Guitar classic
  • Both sides are incredibly lively, full-bodied, open and present — the sound, in a word, is HUGE
  • 4 1/2 stars: ” A very impressive beginning to di Meola’s solo career”
  • A great lineup including Chick Corea, Jaco Pastorious, Stanley Clarke, Lenny White, Steve Gadd and more
  • If you’re a Jazz Fusion fan, this title from 1976 is surely a Must Own

If you’ve enjoyed the sonics on one of our Hot Stamper Return To Forever, Weather Report or Santana LPs, I think you’d find a lot to like about this record. (more…)

Return to Forever – Romantic Warrior

More Return to Forever

More Jazz Rock Fusion

  • A STUNNING pressing with Nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) sound on both sides – just shy of our Shootout Winner (and just a half plus short of our most recent $399 White Hot Stamper pressing)
  • Our favorite Jazz Rock Fusion Album of All Time – on the right stereo this is a Demo Disc like no other
  • None rocks harder – of course that wouldn’t mean much without the music being so exciting and brilliant, and we’re happy to report it is!
  • These are four instrumental pyrotechnicians – the band is absolutely on fire like no other album they recorded together
  • If you’re a Jazz Fusion guy, this title from 1976 is surely a Must Own
  • The complete list of titles from 1976 that we’ve reviewed to date can be found here

If you’re a fan of ’70s jazz fusion there aren’t many albums better than this. (It’s the only RTF record we bother to carry as a matter of fact.) It’s an absolutely phenomenal recording, and if you have any doubts about that fact, these two pressings are more than capable of disabusing you of such like. (more…)

Al Dimeola / Elegant Gypsy – Di Meola’s Masterpiece

More Al Di Meola

More Jazz Rock Fusion

  • One of the best copies of this phenomenal Fusion Guitar Jazz Classic to ever hit the site — Triple Plus (A+++) throughout
  • Both sides are incredibly lively, full-bodied, open and present — the sound is HUGE and WEIGHTY and it rocks
  • 5 stars: “Generally an explosive affair, although it does have a fair amount of variety. A near classic in the fusion vein.”

SHOCKINGLY GOOD SOUND for one of the all-time great guitar albums! We were positively BLOWN AWAY by how lively, dynamic and full-bodied this copy sounds. There’s real texture to all the instruments and the bottom end is tight and punchy beyond belief. They just don’t make records with this kind of Tubey Analog Magic anymore.

If you’ve enjoyed the sonics on one of our Hot Stamper pressings of Return To Forever, Weather Report or Santana, I think you’ll find a lot to like about this record.

This album still holds up today. The All Music Guide gives it five big stars, and on a copy like this one I bet you’ll rate the music just as highly. When you have a pressing with this kind of weight, power, clarity and transparency, you can easily appreciate just how amazing the musicianship is. (more…)

Al Di Meola et al. – Friday Night in San Francisco

A KILLER copy of this Columbia red label pressing with both sides earning Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) grades.

“… a meeting of three of the greatest guitarists in the world for an acoustic summit the likes of which the guitar-playing community rarely sees… All in all, Friday Night in San Francisco is a fantastic album and one of the best entries in all of these guitarists’ fine discographies.” (more…)

Al Di Meola – Casino

Di Meola’s 1978 release finally makes it to the site, with outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER throughout – exceptionally quiet vinyl too. A fusion classic featuring the stunning technique and superb improvisations that keep us on the hunt for great Di Meola pressings like this one.   (more…)