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Picks and Pans Review: Cielo E Terra Soaring Through a Dream

updated 08/19/1985 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/19/1985 01:00AM

Al Di Meola

As the guitarist with Chick Corea's Return to Forever and as a solo artist, Di Meola, 30, has more often been fiery than philosophical. But on Cielo e Terra, his look-Ma-I'm-serious album, he does some lovely contemplation of the joys of the acoustic guitar. There are hints of everyone from Carlos Montoya and Julian Bream to Chet Atkins and Larry Coryell in the rich, resonant sounds of his guitar. His compositions, especially Atavism of Twilight and When Your Gone (Al is better on playing than spelling), are evocatively moody. His only accompanist, Airto Moreira, adds some feathery percussion touches on a few tracks, and Di Meola also uses a guitar synthesizer. He uses it a little too often, in fact, programming it to sound like human voices—robot voices, actually—oohing and aahing. On Soaring Through a Dream Di Meola leads a quintet that includes Moreira and keyboardist Phil Markowitz. This album is far less intimate but more highly charged, less suitable for brooding, more for partying. (Manhattan)

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