AL DI MEOLA — Splendido Hotel

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AL DI MEOLA - Splendido Hotel cover
3.08 | 11 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 1980

Filed under Fusion


A1 Alien Chase On Arabian Desert 8:54
A2 Silent Story In Her Eyes 7:32
B1 Roller Jubilee 4:42
B2 Two To Tango 4:12
B3 Al Di's Dream Theme 6:48
C1 Dinner Music Of The Gods 8:33
C2 Splendido Sundance 4:48
C3 I Can Tell 3:59
D1 Spanish Eyes 5:07
D2 Isfahan 11:35
D3 Bianca's Midnight Lullaby 1:53


Backing Vocals – Philippe Saisse (tracks: C3)
Bass Guitar – Anthony Jackson (tracks: A2, B1, B3, D1), Tim Landers (tracks: A1, B3, C1)
Cello – Dennis Karmzyn (tracks: D2), Raymond J. Kelley (tracks: D2)
Congas, Bongos – Mingo Lewis (tracks: A2)
Drums – Robbie Gonzalez (tracks: A1, A2, B3, C1), Steve Gadd (tracks: B1, D1)
Electric Guitar – Les Paul (tracks: D1)
Electronic Drums [Syndrum] – Mingo Lewis (tracks: B1, B3)
Keyboards – Philippe Saisse (tracks: A1, A2, B1, B3, C1, C3)
Marimba – Philippe Saisse (tracks: A1, A2, B1)
Percussion – Eddie Colon (tracks: A1, A2, B3, C1), Mingo Lewis (tracks: B1)
Piano [Acoustic] – Chick Corea (tracks: A2, B2, D2)
Synthesizer [Moog] – Jan Hammer (tracks: B3)
Synthesizer [Moogbass] – Philippe Saisse (tracks: C3)
Synthesizer [Oberheim] – Peter Cannarozzi (tracks: A2, B1)
Viola – Carol Shive (tracks: D2)
Violin – David Campbell (tracks: D2)
Vocals – The Columbus Boychoir (track: D2)

About this release

Columbia – C2X 36270(US)

Recorded At – CBS Recording Studios

Thanks to snobb for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

A kind of preoccupation with places of extreme heat is clear from Al Di Meola's song titles and his general sound, adding to the Latin feel of much of his music. But his is not an urban Latin like Santana's can be, and is instead located more in the natural world.

Here on 'Splendido Hotel' he once again brings forth his speed and familiar motifs, but expands his sound on a double album, which attempts a little bit of everything. Once again his cast of supporting musicians has been expanded to include multiple rhythm players, several keyboard players and a small string section. Is it all completely successful? Not every song no.

'Alien Chase on Arabian Desert' starts off with some sci-fi keyboards before covering similar territory as his other albums, opening with a deceptive medium pace before unleashing bursts of speed. It's one of the more 'rockier' piece here, along with 'Dinner Music of the Gods' or 'Ali Di's Dream Theme' with is signature lead line. Elsewhere he is more calm, with a larger proportion of acoustic based numbers. 'Silent Story in her Eyes' is similar to 'Dark Eyed Tango' in feel and tone, while 'Roller Jubilee' has a sunny, happy pop feel and is a welcome change. 'Two to Tango' is another duet with Chick Corea on acoustic piano, and while it works and is one of my favourite moments, it doesn't stand out in context of this more sprawling album.

Deeper into side two are another pair of pop-sounding songs, a nice reading of 'Spanish Eyes' that features Les Paul and the 80s pop of 'I Can Tell' which has not aged well. 'Isfahan' is probably the most adventurous track on the album, but it doesn't quite live up to its promise. An eerie choir leads into strings and guitar, which then move into something close to tone-poem territory. A Corea composition, it is definitely an interesting step for Al Di Meola, who is stretching out on this album, but it doesn't quite have everything it needs somehow.

Another good album from Di Meola, with some superb tracks mixed amongst a lot of familiar territory and half-successful experiments.

Members reviews

Sean Trane
ADM’s fourth album was a double album, but only containing a meagre 60 minutes of music, was supposed to be an ambitious departure of style compared to his first three solo efforts. In a sense, SH accomplishes that, straying from his usual sound, and losing himself a bit in the process as well, IMHO! Not only does ADM seem to touch a bit of everything, but due to the album’s “double” offering (although it’s more like 1,5) but also diluting his “propos” way too much. In a way, he (ADM) was right to try to change because his constant drive to fame, glory and prizes & awards and his quest to become the fastest guitarslinger was verging the ridiculous, culminating in his sorry performance, crushed by the two giants McLaughlin and DeLucia in that San Francisco album.

Offering much variety through his acoustic playing and his fierier electric playing, this album dishes every single possible style of DiMeolized music, from the most attractive jr/f he had us used to, the FM Steely Dan-esque fusion to the tackiest muzak with some overdrawn string sections passages and other semi-Latino influences. This huge mish-mash pot pourri of such distant styles is downright directionless, purposeless and frankly more boring than anything else. Sure, there are the odd bits of ADM brilliance (but nothing new under his Midnight Sun) that stop this album from sinking/stinking such as Dinner Music Of The Gods or the title track. On the whole, this album makes me yawn much more than smile, and even when the second option is there, I’m not sure it is the way Al would’ve hoped for.

This then-young fan must say that, by the time of this album’s release, he had almost turned his back on ADM and his supposedly Latin lover romantic looks and musical pretensions and shoddy artwork to go along, but then again in 79-80, it was that whole JR/F scene that had lost all impetus and momentum and was starting to sound horribly cliché, but ADM was at the head of the pack, leading the race towards senility and reaping nothing but cold shoulders, devoid of the expected laurels and award medals to cover them up. For unconditional fans. .

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