, August 2009
This is the third DVD concert by The Super Guitar Trio, their having had earlier releases in 2005 and 2007. This one was videotaped live at the Nightstage in Cambridge, Massachusetts back in 1990, and it isn’t hi-def. In fact the screen images are a bit underlit and low-res, but the DTS surround is terrific and really draws one into the concert in spite of the images. Two percussionists and another guitarist back up the trio.
With The Super Guitar Trio Al Di Meola continues his participation with two other guitarists in a similar setting to his earlier just plain Guitar Trio (himself, Pace de Lucia & John McLaughlin). While I didn’t find this concert nearly as exciting as the incredible Friday Night in San Francisco with the original Guitar Trio, the program is interesting and the interaction of all three virtuoso guitarists is fun to watch and listen to. The audience really revs up for Di Meola’s familiar Mediterranean Sundance, and all three guitarists cut loose on this tune work. The Tango Suite is of course by Piazzolla and both the lengthiest work on the program and a highlight of the concert. There are now many recorded versions of the combination of Chick Corea’s Spain and the second movement of Rodrigo’s Concierto Aranjuez. The one by The Super Guitar Trio would be right up there.
All three of these guitarists have been involved in a wide range of music during their careers and their versatility comes thru in the exciting playing on these group improvisations. Coryell was one of the pioneers in bringing in East Indian influences and also in fusion electric jazz, and of course Lagrene is known for his superb recreation of Django Reinhardt’s playing - when he was only 16 or so. But all the guitarists have done much more than what they’re known for, and the Super Guitar Trio offers a chance for them to show how flexible and creative they can be. They also demonstrate the trend away from the electric guitar in many areas and a rediscovery of the beauties of the basically acoustic guitar.