I stumbled upon this album this week, and I have to say that it has been one of the finest musical discoveries for me here in 2012.
The album, Friday Night in San Francisco with DiMeola, McLaughlin, & DeLucia, has been nothing short of spectacular for me to listen to. ORG has done a mighty fine job with this reissue, and while I don’t have an original to compare it to, I do find it to be incredible treat to listen to!
The ambience of the live setting really comes through in this recording. At times it almost had an audiophile quality reminiscent of Jazz at the Pawn Shop with all of the ambient noise and activity picked up during the live concert recording.
Overall sound quality seems quite nice. Again, without an original reference it is difficult to comment. But the sound is solid. That said, one thing that I do wonder about is if the original recording was as good as it could have been. There are times when things seem ever so slightly muffled. Particularly when you hear the crowd. This is not the case with the guitar playing. But it is something I’ve noticed and have wondered about. Still, if you figure the recording was likely miked for the 3 guitarists, then it makes sense to me that the other would be an after thought.
Ultimately, if you fancy yourself a guitar lover, do yourself a favor and grab this album. It’s well worth the price of ~$55 for the 2 lp’s inside the gatefold cover. You’ll really enjoy what must have been an amazing evening that Friday night in San Francisco way back when…
With the platitudes done, let me quickly comment on the quality of the pressing. First, I note no discernible issues. I’ve run these 2 albums through my system a few times now and everything just pops ever so nicely! The music really jumps from the system. The packaging is also really nice. Kudos to ORG on a fine job. ORG pulled together Bernie Grundman to master this from the original analog master tapes. The album was then pressed at RTI. Packaging is solid, and extra props to ORG for putting together the gatefold! Included are 2 top quality static eliminating linings of top quality. But there is one down side – BOTH side “B’s” for my albums have a quirky label tear or rip right around the spindle. Go figure! Other than that – NO complaints. Now back to my concert with Al Di Meola, John McLaughlin and Paco de Lucia, originally recorded recorded at The Warfield Theatre on December 5, 1980, in San Francisco.