Guitarist Al di Meola, recently of Return to Forever’s reunion tour, takes me to task for not knowing his most recent recordings — during WNYC’s “Soundcheck Smackdown,” which pitted me “against” Will Layman (of PopMatters.com) regarding jazz fusion’s legacy, moderated by John Schaefer.
Di Meola let it be known that he agrees that some of Return to Forever’s music is bombastic — and over-long! He describes 2008 RTF juggernaut as a nostalgia trip, fun for a while, but eventually not so much. He said keyboardist-composer-RTF leader Chick Corea, despite his vaunted interest in communication, didn’t pay attention to di Meola’s opinion that audiences didn’t want 20 minute unaccompanied solos and two-song second halves of concerts.
Taking di Meola at his word — “My composing has grown, developed” — I’m going to give quick listens to his most recent albums, in “Fusion Wars part 2,” asap.