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Mahavishnu, Di Meola DVDs Due in October

Jazz guitar fanatics will find their DVD players spinning overtime next month as new releases capturing two of the most significant axe-handlers of all-time find their way to retail. At the beginning of the month, on October 2, Eagle Eye Media will release a two-DVD set by the Mahavishnu Orchestra, Live At Montreux 1974-1984 featuring John McLaughlin (pictured). The set, which sells for $19.98, features two performances, one from 1974 and one recorded a full decade later. On the ’74 show, McLaughlin is joined by French violinist Jean-Luc Ponty, drummer Narada Michael Walden, keyboardist Gayle Moran, bassist Ralphe Armstrong, flutist Bob Knapp, multi-horn player Steve Frankovitch, violinists Steve Kindler and Carol Shive, saxophonist Marsha Westbrook and cellist Phillip Hirschi. The later set includes saxophonist Bill Evans, Mitch Foreman on keyboards, Jonas Hellborg on bass and Danny Gottlieb on drums.

Meanwhile, on October 30, MVD Visual is issuing two different Al Di Meola programs. The first, the two-hour Speak a Volcano, is the guitarist’s first electric DVD. The live portion of the program was taped in Leverkusen, Germany in November 2006. Among the musicians in Di Meola’s band is percussionist Gumbo Ortiz. They perform both Di Meola originals and five songs by tango legend Astor Piazzolla. The DVD also includes guitar tips and a conversation with Di Meola.

The second Di Meola release is titled Diabolic Inventions and Seduction for Solo Guitar, Volume I. According to an MVD press release, “Al’s personal desire for the music in this solo acoustic guitar (his first!) context was to bring his own vision by incorporating a syncopated rhythm concept unlike its original written conception. His friendship with Astor Piazzolla proved to be a turning point in his life. Astor encouraged him to bring to Astor’s music his own voice and expression. Through their many conversations, Astor described his music as ‘diabolic,’ referring to the radical departure from the standard tango music of the past.” The Volcano DVD retails for $19.95 and Diabolic will sell for $16.95.

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