acoustic shredder, as he proved in the early
1980s trio he led with co-guitarists John
McLaughlin and Paco de Lucía—a group
whose fiery sound was captured on the 1981
recording Friday Night in San Francisco.
With his string of 1980s solo albums—
including 1980’s Splendido Hotel and 1982’s
Electric Rendezvous—Di Meola continued
to explore a synthesis of rock and jazz with
Latin and non-Western idioms. His extreme
playing earned him reverence from guitarists
of all stripes—although some detractors also
said his virtuosity unsuccessfully masked a
lack of musical content and expressiveness.