Al Di Meola
Across The Universe (earMUSIC)
For his 1975 album of classic rock ’n’ roll covers, John Lennon used a picture of himself as a young man, standing in a doorway. Guitarist Al Di Meola pays tribute to Lennon with his own recreation of that famous photo, and an album of Beatles’ covers, played in his own imitable style.
While I did enjoy the reinvention and progressive approach to these songs, I doubt that most casual fans of The Beatles will. Di Meola is an extraordinary guitarist to be sure, but his use of diminished chords and passing notes will make a lot of these famous melodies sound unfamiliar and dissonant to a lot of ears.
Musicians and folks with a bit of music theory knowledge, however, will marvel at the twists and turns Di Meola takes, especially in “The Golden Slumbers Medley” and “Norwegian Wood,” the later of which is brimming with Indian percussion. It’s also interesting to hear new takes on often-overlooked Beatle tracks like “Julia” and “Octopus’s Garden.”