A Song I Love – Mediterranean Sundance – Al di Meola/Paco de Lucia

A couple of years ago, my wife, kids and I visited Madrid and Paris. In Madrid, we saw a great flamenco show in a very small club called Cardamomo near Plaza Mayor. While the emphasis there was on the dancing, this song always reminds me of that night…

Al di Meola is a hotshot whiz-kid jazz-rock guitarist who made his name playing in Chick Corea’s band, Return to Forever. This was during the 1970’s which was absolutely the heyday of fusion. He has won Guitar Player magazine’s best jazz guitarist four times.

Known for having a Latin edge to his playing, he’s toured and played with, among others, Carlos Santana. He has continued to play as a solo act and we saw him for the first time about five years ago at the Newport Jazz festival. I remember him half-jokingly complaining that he needed a better agent as he was the last act on the show, after half the crowd had gone home.

Paco de Lucía was a virtuoso flamenco guitarist who passed away barely two years ago. Wikipedia: De Lucía was noted for his fast and fluent picados (fingerstyle runs). A master of contrast, he often juxtaposed picados and rasgueados (flamenco strumming) with more sensitive playing and was known for adding abstract chords and scale tones to his compositions with jazz influences.

In 1977 di Meola released a solo album, Elegant Gypsy. And while the album is largely electric, my favorite is the acoustic “Mediterranean Sundance.”

This is an incredibly beautiful but – with lightning-fast runs – almost impossible-to-play flamenco guitar duet. In this song, di Meola plays the first solo, right side and de Lucia the second solo, left side. Enjoy. And be transported.

9 thoughts on “A Song I Love – Mediterranean Sundance – Al di Meola/Paco de Lucia

    1. Technically speaking, no human beings should be able to play like this. What I like about it is not only the incredibly high level of proficiency but also the fact that it doesn’t lose its feel, its emotion. One of my favorites.

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      1. You being a musician you would probably hear it different than CB but I love his sound and his style. The two CD’s I was listening to were ‘Great big Boy’ and ‘Standing in my Shoes’. Not a bad cut. I’m with you 100% on LK

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        1. Yeah, if it’s a guitarist I can totally appreciate it. I saw Segovia once. Totally fucked with my head. But if it’s any other instrument, I’m like anybody else. I can appreciate, say, a great drummer or pianist but I have no “inside info” on how they do what they do.

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        2. To CB it’s all about how it sounds and moves him. I really have no choice. I’ve had people try to sell me on a band or music and it just doesn’t click. I can appreciate the talent but the taste buds ain’t picking it up. Also the good ones make it look so easy. Leo, Eric, your buddy Duane etc etc

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        3. Oh yeah, it’s like good athletes. They usually practice harder and longer than everyone else. Why they make it look easy. You’d be up on this Jim, I heard Hendrix took his guitar every where, shit house you name it. Always practicing. Yeah I’m pretty sure Leo doesn’t have to put the time in any more. It’s there.

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