Al di Meola

15 years ago, on a Friday
The 12th of September 2008, to be precise

Last night we attended a brilliant show: Al di Meola live in Bucharest.

Not much to say, really, because the show was indeed outstanding. Accompanied by (I’m sorry I didn’t get their names) an Italian on guitar, a Croatian on accordion and his old band matte Gumbi on percussion, Al proved again, although unnecessarily, that he is a great musician and guitar player.

Edit: According to this article in the online edition of Washington Post, they were Peo Alfonsi and Fausto Beccalossi:

In addition to his longtime percussionist Gumbi Ortiz, a master of Caribbean polyrhythms, Di Meola was accompanied by two Italian-born musicians: accordionist Fausto Beccalossi and guitarist Peo Alfonsi.

I don’t know where did I get the Croatian thing, but I stand corrected.

The guy on accordion was also brilliant. I wasn’t aware an accordion was capable of such things. And he was sometimes singing along too, which was touching me in unexpected ways.

Mike Joyce puts it better:

There were several moments, however, when accordionist Beccalossi nearly stole the show with his deeply soulful rhapsodies.

A very big surprise was also Gumbi’s instrument, something I’ve never seen before, literally a big crate that was also serving as his stool. Yet that crate sounded almost like a drum kit when pounded by his bare hands. Absolutely spectacular.

Edit: Thanks to the same Washington Post article and Wikipedia, I now know the instrument is called Cajón, the Spanish word for crate, so I was close.

I’ll leave you with these pictures taken with my (crappy) mobile phone, in which you will have to trust me there’s Al di Meola on stage, last night in Bucharest.

I just wish these things would happen more often than once a few years…

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