Josef Woodard
December 15, 2000 AT 05:00 AM EST

Among ’70s fusion guitar heroes, Al DiMeola epitomized the riff-happy gunslinger: He had startlingly fast hands, but a musical mind never as focused as his licks. Most of Anthology‘s 1976-82 tracks haven’t dated gracefully, but the playing is what counts. Joined by game bandmates like keyboardist Jan Hammer and drummer Steve Gadd, DiMeola is like a virtuoso trapeze artist habitually cheating death. B-

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