Quick plays: AL DI MEOLA, JON DURANT, STU HAMM

AL DI MEOLA Elegant Gypsy & More Live

AL DI MEOLA Elegant Gypsy & More Live (earMUSIC) [Release date 20.07.18]

This year’s ‘Opus’ marked a return to form for the jazz fusion guitarist and this live outing – recorded in the US last year – is also a welcome update.  It shows that Di Meola has lost none of his old flair as he blasts through pieces like the classic ‘Senor Mouse’ and ‘Egyptian Danza’.

Fluid and frenetic in equal parts (‘Baby Lou’, ‘Flight Over Rio’), but also reflective and slinky in others (‘Ardour’, ‘Midnight Tango’).  His version of Zep’s ‘Black Dog’ with Evan Garr’s violin (a highlight throughout) also brings Di Meola’s rock influences to the fore whilst ‘Race With The Devil On Spanish Highway’ further reiterates his rock/crossover credentials.  ***1/2

Review by David Randall

Album review (Opus)

JON DURANT Parting Is (Alchemy Records) [Release date 18.01.18]

In 1985 Jon Durant’s album would have been called “new age”.  It’s nine tracks of reflective, loop-building, guitar ambience and the liner note emphasises the lack of synths.  As an aural backdrop to your latest wellness regime, worth investigating.  ***

Review by David Randall

STU HAMM The Diary Of Patrick Xavier [Release date 01.18]

Stu Hamm is perhaps better known for his stints with Satch and Steve Vai.  This new album is like an extended demo for his Warwick bass guitar and other endorsements.  There are no other instruments and Hamm is left to colour and craft each track on his own.  ‘Chopping Wood’ says it all.

You could also watch paint dry and be more energised.  Hamm has been influenced in this task by the travelogue of one Patrick Xavier who seems to parallel Hamm’s own journey when – in 2015 and in Hamm’s words -  “my life was tossed in a blender”.

For bass students and blender tossers  only.  **1/2

Review by David Randall

David Randall presents ‘Assume The Position’ on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio every Sunday at 22:00 GMT.


David Randall plays a selection of new and classic rock in his weekly show first broadcast 14 June 2020 including reference to the Feature series “2020 Vision”.


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Featured Albums w/c 6 July (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 MANDOKI SOULMATES Living In The Gap (Red Rock Production/Cleopatra)
12:00-13:00 MAGNUS KARLSSON’S FREE FALL – We Are The Night (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 BEN REEL The Nashville Calling (B.Reel Records)

Power Plays w/c 6 July (Mon-Fri)

ZENITH MOON Gypsy (Golden Robot Records)
RARITY Leave It Alone (New Damage Records)
THE RISING I Want You (indie)
MANDOKI SOULMATES Young Rebels (Red Rock Production/Cleopatra)
LA GUNS Well Oiled Machine (Golden Robot Records)



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