On Friday night my wife and I saw Al Di Meola at the One World Theater. Aside from the Return To Forever reunion a few years ago the only other times I've seen Di Meola was when he was doing only acoustic concerts. This current tour he's celebrating the 40th anniversary of his Elegant Gypsy album (that sounds so weird knowing it's already been 40 years!). His band includes the great Phillipe Saisse on keyboards, Elias Tona on bass, Luis Alicea on drums, Gumbi Ortiz on percussion, and an extraordinary young violinist named Evan Garr. He opened up with "Flight Over Rio" (one of my faves from Gypsy), and during a percussion solo Ortiz started slowing the tempo down, then started pounding out a familiar groove on congas then started singing "Oye Como Va" when Di Meola walked over and wagged his finger and said "no - wrong band". Ortiz just grinned and went back to the "Rio" groove. Garr provided some awesome violin solos as well. He followed with "Midnight Tango", also from Gypsy. He played some cuts from his new album Elysium. Then he played "Egyptian Danza" and "Senor Mouse" from the Casino album. He switched to acoustic guitar and played a couple of solo tunes, then was joined by Garr on a duet, then the rest of the band came in for another track. He then played the RTF tune "Medieval Overture" to close out the set. He returned for an encore of "Race With The Devil On Spanish Highway". Di Meola was very engaging with the crowd, cracking jokes several times. It was a great show. Even my wife, who doesn't usually enjoy fusion ("why does everybody play all those notes?") enjoyed it. She even wants me to put a couple of songs on her iPod. That's saying something!