With the merciful death of fusion in the '80s, DiMeola's star dimmed considerably, but that's a shame because as it turned out, the guy matured into a musician of undeniable distinction and class. His little-noticed recent albums (particularly those recorded with a group called World Sinfonia) have found DiMeola immersing himself in Brazilian tango music and other world music, playing with previously unthinkable restraint and delicacy. He's still capable of spewing fusion sewage as well (such as 1992's abominable Kiss My Axe), but deny this man the use of amplification, and he will make your ears very happy to be connected to your head.
Los Lobos play at the Sun Theatre, 2200 E. Katella Ave., Anaheim, (714) 712-2700. Fri., 8 p.m. $28.50; Bernard Allison performs at the Blue Cafe, 210 The Promenade, Long Beach, (562) 983-7111. Sat., 9:30 p.m. $12; Al DiMeola plays at the Robert B. Moore Theatre, Orange Coast College, 2701 Fairview Rd., Costa Mesa, (714) 432-5880. Sat., 8 p.m. $24-$31.