AL DI MEOLA — Casino (review)

AL DI MEOLA — Casino album cover Album · 1978 · Fusion Buy this album from MMA partners
3/5 ·
dreadpirateroberts
Is there anything wrong with this one? Not really no. It seems to take a bit of beating in some circles, but the formula is about the same and the songwriting has improved again. Di Meola sounds a little more relaxed here, less keen to prove his speed and daring - though he has not exactly slowed down either.

Opening 'Casino' is 'Egyptian Danza' with a suitably themed flourish from the keys before the song builds up to familiar territory, where the band summon up a kind of approaching sandstorm or some other calamity beneath the pyramids perhaps? Mid way in there's even some overdubbed hand claps before the song explodes again.

It's a standout first few tracks, from the pounding 'Chasin' the Voodoo' to the languid 'Dark Eyed Tango' (with some of the more considered soloing from Di Meola on the album.) 'Senor Mouse' is a more flowing affair, almost playful at times. It leads into another acoustic showpiece, which is nice enough but doesn't grip me like his previous or future acoustic pieces do. The title track is a longer exploration of similar themes and phrasing from the rest of the album and also doesn't feel as effective as material elsewhere on the album.

Very nearly four stars, but not quite. It's a good record, and I don't regret owning it, but his previous two albums are more enjoyable overall, even with a fantastic first side to 'Casino.'
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