Al Di Meola: "If You Hear Something You're Unable to Play, You Have Room to Grow"

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crossbone

In response to the below comment, I don't know Al personally, but I have been inspired by his playing throughout the years. I've never been offended by one of his interviews. Many great artists have egos but he's a great player and we can all learn from the greats.

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AvidListener

I actually liked what he's done in the past as well. He does have something that is unique and it's stuck around long enough because it stands on its own. But, if you've gone through the experience I went through (along with a lot of other musicians who have met him) you would probably find it leaving an awful taste in your mouth as well. I was utterly appalled by his behavior and intolerance that it pretty much ruined his music for me. I also NEVER speak out on something like this. I'm a laid back person and love everyone. I just cannot stand intolerance. I'm someone that went to Berklee during the early 70's and I've been very lucky to have the career that I have. I'll go unnamed because I'm not looking to start anything big. But, I did want to respond to you, crossbone, because I usually always feel the same way you do- let live and live.

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crossbone

I also went to Berklee in the 70's. I saw Al with Return To Forever at La Bastille in Houston 1974, and when I found out that he had attended Berklee, it did provide more encouragement to go there myself. I saw them again in L.A. a couple of years later at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, where Stevie Wonder sat in with them. Al's playing was just incredible, with no mistakes or sloppiness at all. A few years ago when RTF did their reunion tour I took my daughter, a young guitarist, to see them, and this time she was inspired by Al. I've tried to separate the personal life from the person's output. I can't always like or even know an artist. I was unable to separate the two only once, with trombonist Frank Rosolino, who shot his two sons in the head before committing suicide. After learning this fact, I could no longer listen to his music. So we all have our capacities of tolerance. Don't mind me though, I've been inspired by Pete Rose, Barry Bonds, Tiger Woods, Ty Cobb, Lance Armstrong, Beethoven and George Patton. All the A holes who refused to take their hands off the throttle.

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AvidListener

If any of you have ever met Al Di Meola, then you know that he's one HUGE AH. This is one of the biggest *ricks in the music business. He's an egoist of the highest order. He's an extremely insecure person and that's not a great place to be if you're in the real Jazz world. In his presence he doesn't want to hear about Pat Metheny, John Scofield and a lot of other REAL musicians who are way better than he is. He'll cut you off and tell you to shut the F up and don't mention that person's name again. He LITERALLY cannot stand it.

The best writers in the world are the ones that can put the most meaning in the least amount of words-- it's the same with music. The Beatles weren't shredders. You don't need a flurry of notes to make something better. The gift of Composition outweighs anything else out there. If you can mix that with knowing which notes are the best in improvisation over the Comp (to accent and bring the Comp to life), then you're even better. The best musicians are the best listeners... and they're the nicest people you'll meet too. Al Di Meola is none of those.

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