Al Di Meola's quest for the right band finally seems to have hit pay dirt.
His current ensemble, which performed at the Strand in Redondo Beach on Sunday night, is a state-of-the-art collection of contemporary musicians who enhance his playing and challenge him to stretch his abilities, both as a guitarist and a composer.
The net result was an exciting evening of music. Di Meola's improvising was so explosive that it sometimes seemed on the verge of bursting past the strings of his instrument. And multiplaned works such as "The Embrace," "Morocco" and "Oriana" demanded, and got, concentration and attention from the players and the audience.
The participation of Barry Miles--who worked with Di Meola even before the salad years of Return to Forever--provided the other side of a keyboard-guitar polarity that appears to be vital to Di Meola's music.