Guitar virtuoso, Al Di Meola, will be releasing a personal tribute to The Beatles with his new album, All Your Life. Recorded in analog at Abbey Road Studios in London, where the Beatles created most of their records during their heyday, All Your Life stands as a triumph in the long and illustrious career of a bona fide guitar hero. All Your Life will be released September 10th, 2013. For more information, please visit: www.aldimeola.com.
Like millions of other American boys growing up during the 1960s, guitarist Al Di Meola was forever affected by seeing The Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show back in the era of black & white TV. His early encounter with the Fab Four lit a passion in him and may be directly responsible for the New Jersey native first picking up the guitar. "Had they not existed, I probably would be, who knows...a fireman today or some other job," says the celebrated guitarist. "And beyond just me, they changed the whole world. There is no music in my lifetime that made as huge an impact on the world like that of the Beatles. What they did to modern pop music in the '60s changed everything."
Nearly 50 years after the first wave of Beatlemania washed onto Stateside shores, the six-string superstar returns to his early roots in paying a personal tribute to that seminal influence with All Your Life. A virtual one-man show of virtuosity, All Your Life features the guitar great interpreting 14 familiar Beatles tunes in the stripped-down setting of strictly acoustic guitar. On some tracks, like "In My Life" and "Because," he overdubs three guitars to get the rich, shimmering textures and intricate patterns created on his signature Al Di Meola Conde Hermanos nylon string guitar, his Gibson steel string guitar and a 1948 Martin acoustic. Others like "Penny Lane," "I Am The Walrus" and "I Will" utilize two guitars while "And I Love Her," "Blackbird" and "If I Fell" utilized a single guitar track. All the percussion heard throughout the recording is Di Meola himself slapping the wood body of his instrument or strumming muted strings for percussive effect. All the tracks are imbued with the guitarist's signature flamenco flourishes, intricate arpeggiating and dazzling cross-picking. Only one track does he employ other musicians (a dramatic reading of "Eleanor Rigby" that features a string quartet).
"I've come full circle with this," says Di Meola, who was inducted into Guitar Player's Gallery of Greats in 1981 after four consecutive wins as Best Jazz Guitarist in the magazine's Readers Poll. "I started out my life loving the Beatles, and I never stopped, just like a lot of so many other guitarists from my generation. In the middle, we all went into whatever music we pursued in our careers -- fusion, jazz, whatever it might be. We all wanted to further our craft. But when you come back to the Beatles' music, it's like, 'Man, this stuff is still happening! All of it!' And there's not a day that goes by that we're not somehow touched by the Beatles, whether it's a story online or something we hear. It's almost every day that we see some connection in our lives with the Beatles."
Back in the '70s, Di Meola blazed the fusion trail with supergroup Return to Forever and with his own powerhouse Latin-tinged fusion group. He focused on the purity of acoustic guitar during the early '80s with a trio of international virtuosos in Spain's flamenco master Paco de Lucia and British-born founder of the Mahavishnu Orchestra, John McLaughlin. For the past 20-plus years, Di Meola has been courting a different muse with his World Sinfonia, a dynamic group that blends world music elements and also specializes in interpreting the work of Argentine tango master Astor Piazzolla. The acoustic All Your Life follows on the heels of Di Meola's 2011 recording, Pursuit of Radical Rhapsody, which incorporated everything from Argentinian tango to Spanish flamenco to Middle Eastern and North African music and included an electrifying interpretation of The Beatles' "Strawberry Fields Forever."
Al Di Meola will release All Your Life on September 10th, 2013.
1. In My Life
2. And I Love Her
5. I Will
6. Eleanor Rigby
7. Penny Lane
9. I Am The Walrus
10. Day In The Life
11. Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite
12. With A Little Help From My Friends
13. If I Fell
14. She's Leaving Home