Al di Meola/John McLaughlin/Paco deLucia
The Guitar Trio


4.0
excellent

Review

by Bhanchoot USER (3 Reviews)
November 21st, 2008 | 9 replies | 5,120 views


Release Date: 1996 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Total acoustic ecstasy which only gets better with every listen

1 of 1 thought this review was well written

The first time I heard about the guitar trio album was way back when the first G3 album came out in 1997 (Vai, Statch and EJ). One of my friends was telling me how much better this album was in comparison. Even though I did not see the logic behind him comparing a complete acoustic instrumental with that of a more contemporary… more amplified/loud album like what G3 had just released. Anyhow, he continued supporting the guitar trio. “They are true musicians man, G3 are nothing. Listen to the album. It’s pure music.” Well I never did seriously listen to the album, until recently.

The guitar trios are Al Di Meola, John McLaughlin and Paco de Luc*a. The 3 guitarists play in all the songs of the album together. All 3 continuously interchange roles and play the rhythm/lead part. Another thing to add here would be no other instruments are played in the album, which means no bass, drums, tuba etc. But instead one/two of them would play classical progressive chord, while the others would play lead/backing low strings. At first (not that it really matters) it can be hard to differentiate who is doing what, but if you have ever heard any of trios work before, you can easily spot who is doing what.

The album runs for approx. 59 minutes with 9 tracks in all of its complete acoustic bliss. And unlike fire and grace in which the trio worked together beforehand, this is dare I say; more melodic. It does not take long as well to recognize that these guys are absolutely the masters of their realm; I was blown away just by the technical mastery of the 3. More than just individually, but as what they can actually produce together. Firstly the song structures are quite unconventional, even from a fusion perspective. furthermore, The attack patterns and sudden pace changes are electrifying (as a pure acoustic album)

the songs in the album are similar in nature and overall in the style that they are written in, but vary a lot in feel/speed/texture etc. "La Estiba" is the opener of the album and has very odd time signature playing and a dark - somewhat sinister style of melody links it throughout. It’s also has that Spanish fusion jazz style which anyone who has heard them play in older album's can relate to. The next song "Beyond the Mirage" is just the different side of the coin. It’s beautifully constructed and played with all the emotion and feel however as the song progresses, it losses that melody to a slight progressive edge. This is something which most of the trios fan would have never heard them play like before but for some reason in my ears, it still links back to the Spanish nylon string playing which they all started with. Another song to look out for is the trio’s cover of Luiz Bonfa’s astonishing "Mahna De Carnaval". This song is has been covered many time beforehand by acoustic maestros worldwide, but as I mentioned before, when these 3 blend together, its surreal and this song is a must hear for any person.

At the end, all I can say is that my friend was wrong to compare them with G3, it’s a completely different ballgame altogether. However, the truth still is that this album is an absolute work of fine art; and I did finally understand what he meant by when he said about it being “pure”. It’s a very concentrated collection of only the very finest playing. Give this a go; you will not be let down.


user ratings (16)
Chart.
4.1
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
yas666eer
November 21st 2008



269 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

any writing tips/comments are welcome

ohcleverhansyou
November 22nd 2008



885 Comments


The review seems to lack a true sort of organization. You mention songs and the overall feel, but it's lacking the feel of a cohesive review. Doing jazz/fusion reviews, I've found that hard (I've done the trio's Friday Night in San Francisco, which is awesome). But what I try to do-to varying degrees of success-is say what's good about the album, draw examples from the songs, and say what's bad about the album, also drawing examples from the songs. Keep trying, it'll get better. But awesome, another McLaughlin, Di Meola, De Lucia review.

And who compares G3 to these three?

yas666eer
November 22nd 2008



269 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thanks.. i`ll try and make some changes.. yeah, that was a real long time ago (8-9 years) anyway so i am guessing it was more of the image of 3 guys playing the guitars vs the other 3 dudes.

Jethro42
May 6th 2010



12052 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good review. pos'd
Quote:
It does not take long as well to recognize that these guys are absolutely the masters of their realm; I was blown away just by the technical mastery of the 3.
This!
I miss this album. I lost my copy from someone somewhere, long time ago
;(

bloc
May 6th 2010



34499 Comments


I love this guy

Digging: He Is Legend - I Am Hollywood

Jethro42
May 6th 2010



12052 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

what guy? It's actually a trio.

bloc
May 6th 2010



34499 Comments


Al Di Meola, and good review by the way, my man.

Jethro42
May 6th 2010



12052 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

John McLaughlin ftw!!!

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
February 26th 2014



14533 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

jam this and remember paco

Digging: Ingranaggi Della Valle - In Hoc Signo



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