Al Di Meola can look back on a successful career, in which he not only catapulted acoustic guitar playing to a new level, but also enriched jazz with numerous dimensions. On March 13th his new album "Across The Universe" will be released. After "All Your Life (A Tribute To The Beatles)" from 2013, this is already the second work in which he interprets the songs of the Fab Four. Has Al Di Meola's source of inspiration dried up, or are there other reasons for editing foreign compositions?
eclipsed: How did you get the idea for the first Tribute?
Al Di Meola: I have dealt with different styles throughout my entire career, but I have always been a huge Beatles fan. Most people generally see me as a guitar acrobat or as a musician who develops the Mediterranean sense of harmony. But it was the Beatles that ignited my passion for music. And their feeling for melodies, the beautiful vocals and the constant development still impress me today. When I recorded the album at Abbey Road Studios, I felt like a child in a candy store - I was blown away working in these "sacred halls".
eclipsed: In "All Your Life (A Tribute To The Beatles)" the originals are often hardly recognizable, whereas in "Across The Universe" you rather stick to the originals.
Al Di Meola: This time I paid more attention to the basic harmonies and the vocal melodies, which I only slightly modified to bring the beauty of the pieces even more into focus. There were of course major changes in the rhythm and in the emphasis of certain passages.
eclipsed: "Norwegian Wood" makes you feel like you're on a psychedelic trip.
Al Di Meola: I have always loved the sitar and the floating character of the composition. "Norwegian Wood" was one of the first songs, besides "Paint It, Black", where the West was introduced with a touch of the Far East.