On a high note after hearing @official_aldimeola at The Iridium (I'm appearing there so much lately that I almost forgot what a joy it is to attend as a listener). Some may not realize the scope of Al as an artist, as far too much focus tends to be placed his technical skills. While his picking is truly "8th degree blackbelt" level (and is indeed amazing), what often gets overlooked are his highly unique sequences (I challenge anyone to predict where one of his chords will move to next upon first listen), dynamics that go from caressing whispers one moment to stunning blows to the face the next (via alternate picking), an appreciation of world cultures matched by the ability to capture them sonically - allowing listeners to feel as though they've been transported to Argentina, Italy, Spain, Brazil and elsewhere - all culminating in an elegance and grace that touches on a deep emotion felt and shared by all in the room, whether guitar-centric listeners or those to whom "shred" is something done to carrots. There's probably no better way to appreciate all this than hearing him in a duo acoustic setting, which also shows him getting better with age (who'd have thought that was possible?!). Though I've been to several concerts and we've met before (there are pictures in my timeline from the last few yrs) every time I pinch myself being on a 1st name basis with this guy, a hard working symbol of excellence whose art and artistry provides a healthy respite from a world gone mad (he's also quite funny, don't get him started on ballbusting, New Jersey style). This time, had to be a fanboy & get a record signed. "...Midnight Sun" his 1st solo album & has many other greats including Jaco & the late great Alphonse Mouzan (whom I got to work with a while back), also the 1st one I ever owned by him too. This copy I found in a used in Brooklyn stoop. Full circle (pun not intended).