Al Garcia | Alternate Realities

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Jazz: Jazz Fusion Jazz: Jazz-Rock Moods: Featuring Guitar
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Alternate Realities

by Al Garcia

A movie for your ears: guitarist/bassist Al Garcia‘s new release is a blend of jazz-rock fusion, progressive rock, classical, jazz, Latin, space rock, electronica and world music. Melodic, haunting, affirming, music that will take you places.
Genre: Jazz: Jazz Fusion
Release Date: 

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1. Alternate Realities
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2. Turning Point
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3. The Red Queen's Race
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5:59 $0.99
4. Secret Correspondences
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5. Materia Prima
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6. Three of a Kind
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7. The Pleasures of Progress
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8. A Place in the Sun
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9. Calculated Risk
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
"...this is a great record, featuring beautiful guitar tones and often-breathtaking playing from beginning to end."

-Guitar Player Magazine


"What great music! I love your tone and touch and the ideas are wonderful -- beautiful, creative stuff -- and on both guitar and bass! Wow!"

- Michael Manring (Bassist Extraordinaire)


Imagine a kind of music that knows no stylistic barriers; music that borrows from the best of many traditions to create a new reality, an alternate reality.

“Alternate Realities” is guitarist/bassist Al Garcia’s follow up to his highly acclaimed first release “Make It So.” Combining elements of jazz-rock fusion, progressive rock, classical, jazz, Latin, space rock, electronica, and cinematic music, Al’s music transcends boundaries.

This is music that will take you places. Soaring guitar solos, percolating bass lines, lush synthesizer sounds, and driving percussion are featured in songs with infectious melodies and inventive arrangements.
“It is the kind of music that will take you away on its storied journey.”

Al Garcia is a talented multi-instrumentalist who plays 4, 5, and 6 string fretted and fretless basses and various 6 string electric and acoustic guitars. He uses a guitar synthesizer to gain access to sounds usually unavailable to string players. Al also plays a variety of percussion instruments. He uses this varied sonic palette to create a wide variety of moods and textures.

Al's musical influences include: Allan Holdsworth, Bach, Beethoven, pianist Bill Evans, Charlie Parker, Brand-X, John McLaughlin, John Coltrane, Eric Johnson, Jaco Pastorious, Black Sabbath, Sonny Rollins, Yes, Gentle Giant, Debussy, Ravel, ELP, Jeff Berlin

Al is one of the few players who double on bass and guitar to appear in Guitar Player Magazine’s Spotlight column.



Reviews for "Alternate Realities" and "Make It So":

"A brilliant composer and guitar player, Al Garcia released what we can call an excelent example of jazz rock oriented fusion although the material on the CD goes beyond narrow classifications. Unexpected and stimulating, the music on "Alternate Realities" is a journey through the universe of jazz rock and progressive fusion blended by a master musician. From monumental compositions, lighting guitar solos, latin percussion interventions to sophisticated ethereal textures, this album has everything to delight fusion fans. "

- JazzWorldQuest.com


"Once in a long while something will cross our desks here that really captures the imagination as to what could be thought of as the perfect balance of a 'bass album' and a 'songwriter's album'. Al Garcia strikes pretty close to that ideal with his newest release, entitled Make it So. Now, this guy has got to be one of the best-kept secrets in the bass world. Killer chops and with a flawless sense of understatement ... it is a simple fact that his album Make it So is, due to its many strengths, one of the best CD's we have yet encountered in this magazine's life to date. Highly recommended! "

- Bass Inside Magazine ( Warren Murchie)


"Impeccable bass, soaring guitar, lush synth tones, ethnic percussion, and tasty drumming can all be found on Al Garcia's solo release Make It So. Al Garcia is a master bassist, and this is the best CD I have heard in quite a while... Ladies and Gentlemen, I am stunned. I cannot say enough good things about this CD. Buy it. Now!"

- Bassically.net (Scott Hubbell)


"...the music provides a depth of complexity that reaches far beyond most fusion that is being heaped out these days. At the point of this review, my feelings are that Al Garcia needs to be heard by the fusion circles that are existing today, this cd rates as some of the most well arranged instrumental music I have had the pleasure of musing over in recent years, and as for his playing? It's rare when I cannot tell a multi-tasking artist's first instrument, and in Al's case, it's really blurry to me whether he prefers the bass over the guitar, not that it matters, as his mastery of each is ever present through each song here, he displays not only true artistic expression on each instrument, but also quite a diverse arsenal of genre's are exhibited as well."

-Proggnosis Web Site (MJ Brady)


"...I can tell you that Al Garcia is going to be a household name within the fusion genre. He is one of the more proficient multi-instrumentalists I’ve had the pleasure of hearing. ...Al Garcia’s guitar playing is very much on par with Allan Holdsworth and his bass playing could be compared to any one of the greats past and present. ...I would recommend that all fusion fans get Alternate Realities today. "

-Prognaut.com (Ron Fuchs)


"If finely crafted, melodic fusion instrumentals are your bag, then I can recommend this album (Alternate Realities) to you unreservedly. Top drawer stuff!"

-The Dutch Progressive Rock Page (Bob Mulvey)


"Al Garcia performs with verve, and in this unique collection (Alternate Realities), his mastery of the guitar is apparent. His music has feeling, and it is reflected in his excellent guitar work. At all times, the listener is aware of his great talent and his love of jazz. For a jazz guitarist with an eclectic style, give Al Garcia a listen. You won't be disappointed, but delighted with this man's intriguing and enjoyable performances. Very nice!"

- JazzReview.com (Lee Prosser)


"Make It So is one of those rare jazz albums with universal appeal. Al’s playing is absolutely joyous. The positive energy he creates seems boundless. I recommend this album to all music lovers, from the hardcore jazzer to the hardcore rocker. It may sound sappy, but I don’t care: this album will make you feel good... The album is of such even high quality that it’s difficult to pick favorites. There are no stinkers on this album; you get great music from start to finish... The compositions communicate a joy, a love of music. The mood they convey is akin to that of Eric Johnson, Allan Holdsworth, and Jeff Berlin. Uplifting. Positive. Good, in the best sense of the word.
9.5 out of 10 Keyboards."

- Prog4you.com (Jeffrey Ryan Smoots)


"...Garcia brilliantly paces the (almost) all-instrumental Alternate Realities — allowing the music to become more animated and adventurous as the disc’s 57 minutes unwind. ..one dexterous man who appears to be equally skilled on any instrument he touches. "

-ProgressiveEars.com (Michael Popke)


"Dans ‘Alternate Realities’, Al Garcia combine parfaitement des éléments de jazz-rock fusion, rock progressif, quelques touches de classique, jazz, latino, space rock et électro. Une magnifique ouverture sur le monde musical d’aujourd’hui et d’hier. Inventif à souhait ! Un album instrumental
au charme indéniable."

- www.backstageradionews.be.tf (Salvatore BALDACCHINO)


"Al Garcia wants to prove that the bass is not only a rhythm instrument, and that jazz and fusion are not dead; and reaches both objectives in such a masterful way that no more doubts can arise about either topic. Rating: 10 out of 10"

- MovimentiProg.net (Marco Piva)


"It is a very satisfying release sure to please bass centered and general jazz fans alike. A very tastefully done, well balanced jazz release sure to spend a lot of time in your player. Recommended. Rating: 5/5 "

- ProgressiveWorld.net (Stephanie Sollow)


"This cd is a must for fusion fans, and proves that melody and improvisation can go hand in hand."

-Keys and Chords(Patrick Van de Wiele )



"Guitarist Al Garcia shows us that Fusion Jazz is far from dead... It is the kind of Jazz that will take you away on it’s storied journey."

- ContemporaryJazz.com


"Fusion has long been castigated by those who prefer acoustic jazz or mistake it with the recent smooth music. Al Garcia on Alternate Realities shows that there is plenty of creativity and life to be found in creative fusion. Alternate Realities is recommended.."

- L.A. Jazz Scene (Scott Yanow)


"Garcia is an impeccable bassist and guitar player... This record will take you back on an interstellar journey to the glory days of Mahavishnu Orchestra, Jack Bruce, and Return to Forever."

-Turk's Head Review


"Al Garcia is a master of the bass guitar, and he uses it to great advantage on this original collection of songs he composed. The music has wide appeal and will be enjoyable by all jazz groups. His technique for playing is flawless, and he makes every note soar with beauty. If you want something new in contemporary jazz sounds, take several listens to Al Garcia's performances in the collection MAKE IT SO. Top performances by one of the fine young guitars now performing. Likeable. Unique. "

- JazzReview.com (Lee Prosser)


... he weaves tasteful tendrils of fusion heat without kissing the sneakers of Jaco and Stanley. An excellent offering from an artist to watch.

- All About Jazz (Todd Jenkins)


"One of our new favorites here at abstractlogix. Al Garcia has successfully fusioned classical , jazz and rock elements into this brilliant record. The diversity of sound, stunning compostions and technical display is very vivid. Al paints colorful textures with his thumping bass playing and he is a heck of a guitar player too. A must listen for all music fans."

- AbstractLogix.com


"Al Garcia has put together a very enjoyable collection of delectable fusion tracks rooted in savvy stylisms.
... the depth and sophisticated tonality of the compositions will surely appeal to a wide audience of jazz and fusion fans."

- Eclectic Earwig Reviews (Chris Ruel)


"Rarely have I heard a musician that can double on the bass and guitar with the proficiency that I am hearing from Al Garcia... If you are a lover of the bass, jazzfusion, and Holdsworthian guitar, Al Garcia has a cd for you to check out..."

- Prognosis Web Site (MJ Brady)


"It is sound for those who enjoy the technical skills of playing the sounds which is becoming rare around us."

- CyberFusion


"...a solid lesson in the untapped riches of the bass."

- Splendid (Justin Kownacki)


" 9 out of 10 stars"

- Muzika.Bosnia.Ba (Branimir Bane Lokner)


"The music overall could be called fusion, but it is pretty wide-ranging as far as moods and grooves go. The leader's colorful playing, the wide textures that he creates, and the very professional feel of the privately produced CD is quite impressive. Well worth searching for."

- All Music Guide(Scott Yanow :author of Afro-Cuban Jazz, editor of All Music Guide to Jazz, contributor to Downbeat, Jazz Times, Cadence, and other periodicals)


"Alfred's unique composing style incorporates classical elements with fusion chops, the end result sounding like a cross between Beethoven and Allan Holdsworth's I.O.U. His bass playing should appeal to fans of Jeff Berlin ... his guitar style might attract fans of Holdsworth."

- Guitar Player Magazine


Reviews


to write a review

Scott Yanow

Alternate Realities is recommended
Al Garcia is best known as a highly versatile and skilled bassist, but on Alternate Realities his bass playing is only part of the story. Although he can play all kinds of jazz, this is a fusion set in which Garcia is heard on electric and acoustic guitars, electric bass, guitar synthesizer, percussion (congas, bongos, timbales and hand percussion) and, on three numbers, drums. In fact, via overdubbing, he plays all of the instruments except for drums on five numbers (which are either by Chris Garcia or Dean Rohan) and a piano introduction by Fred Ramirez on “Secret Correspondences.”
To his credit, the ensembles on Alternate Realities sound very much like a working band rather than the playing of a single person. The nine originals are complex yet accessible and sometimes rather catchy.
While one is reminded in spots of the classic fusion of the Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return To Forever and perhaps Weather Report, this music is not quite as intense and self-consciously virtuosic, instead leaving space and paying attention to dynamics and pacing while sounding spontaneous.
Fusion has long been castigated by those who prefer acoustic jazz or mistake it with the recent smooth music. Al Garcia on Alternate Realities shows that there is plenty of creativity and life to be found in creative fusion. Alternate Realities is recommended and available from www.algarciamusic.com.

Lee Prosser

You won't be disappointed, but delighted
Al Garcia has long been at the front in mixing various intricate jazz styles for guitar performance. His original compositions reflect his innate ability to create unusual jazz motifs for a contemporary jazz setting.

There are nine songs on this fine CD. The songs include "Alternate Realities," "Turning Point," "The Red Queen's Race," "Secret Correspondences," "Materia Prima," "Three of a Kind," "The Pleasures of Progress," "A Place in the Sun," and "Calculated Risk." Each song in this eclectic collection is sure to please the jazz listening audience. There is definitely something for everybody in this imaginative collection!

"The Red Queen's Race" is unique in its harmonic balance and handling of jazz motifs, as is the "Secret Correspondences." Each song gives a different approach to a jazz theme, then develops it nicely into a full-fledged color photograph filled with sparkling musical details. "Turning Point" will have a wide appeal for its unusual guitar techniques.

Al Garcia performs with verve, and in this unique collection, his mastery of the guitar is apparent. His music has feeling, and it is reflected in his excellent guitar work. At all times, the listener is aware of his great talent and his love of jazz.

For a jazz guitarist with an eclectic style, give Al Garcia a listen. You won't be disappointed, but delighted with this man's intriguing and enjoyable performances. Very nice!

JazzWorldQuest.com

This album has everything to delight fusion fans.
A brilliant composer and guitar player, Al Garcia released what we can call an excelent example of jazz rock oriented fusion although the material on the CD goes beyond narrow classifications. Unexpected and stimulating, the music on "Alternate Realities" is a journey through the universe of jazz rock and progressive fusion blended by a master musician. From monumental compositions, lighting guitar solos, latin percussion interventions to sophisticated ethereal textures, this album has everything to delight fusion fans.

Guitar Player Magazine

Breathtaking playing from beginning to end
Al Garcia plays acoustic and electric guitars, guitar synthesizer, bass, hand percussion, and even some trap drums on this self-recorded and produced album. The music falls squarely into the jazz-rock-fusion category, with obvious Allan Holdsworth and Jeff Berlin influences throughout. But, while Garcia clearly displays the requisite chops for the genre, the compositions are what elevate this disc above the all-too-common fusion wankfest. Most of the pieces have a joyous and buoyant feel despite their harmonic complexity, and the upbeat melodies and Latin rhythmic touches offer accessibility beyond the usual fusion fare. I could have done without the overly cutesy electronic bombast of “The Pleasures of Progress,” but otherwise, this is a great record, featuring beautiful guitar tones and often-breathtaking playing from beginning to end.

Michael Popke

Equally skilled on any instrument he touches.
Taking influences from guitarist Allan Holdsworth and bassist Jack Bruce — not to mention artists as disparate as Charlie Parker and Yes — California-based multi-instrumentalist Al Garcia has recorded a second album of progressive, jazz and space rock sprinkled with bursts of electronic, Latin and cinematic music. It’s really almost too much to digest, but Garcia brilliantly paces the (almost) all-instrumental Alternate Realities — allowing the music to become more animated and adventurous as the disc’s 57 minutes unwind. The opening title track portrays a peaceful sonic landscape that seems to indicate that Alternate Realities will be a charming if unchallenging listen. But by the third track, “The Red Queen’s Race,” Garcia picks up the pace and lets fly some fancy arpeggios while firmly finding his bottom-end footing. He continues to do so on “Secret Correspondences” (a laid-back piano-based tune that nevertheless gains intensity) and the acoustic “Materia Prima” (which tastes like Santana). By the time later tracks like “The Pleasures of Progress” and “Calculated Risk” come around, Garcia’s musical might hits its peak, with distorted spoken-word passages, alternately jagged and soaring synths, and epic arrangements with complex time signatures. Throughout, Garcia’s wondrous sense of melody remains intact, and although he receives a little help on drums and piano, Alternate Realities essentially is a one-man project by one dexterous man who appears to be equally skilled on any instrument he touches.

MJBrady

the most well arranged instrumental music
This is the second cd I have had the pleasure of reviewing by Al Garcia, and trust me when I say, that Al Garcia needs to be heard by todays hardcore fusion fans, Al is a very proficient musician both as a bassist and guitarist, yet most notable of his talents are his innate imaginative compositions, which demand technical excellence, which are delivered not only by Al Garcia, but a supporting cast of more than capable musicians. Perhaps Al needs to find a clever band name to get his music more exposed, none the less, what I have been enjoying about this cd, is that the music provides a depth of complexity that reaches far beyond most fusion that is being heaped out these days. Crafting instrumental music that challenges the listener is not the common approach for many musicians in this genre, few are taking the time not only to refine their skills as musicians, but to painstakenly create elaborate themes and progressions to which they execute those same skills is the sign of a serious technician.

Al Garcia's music on Alternate Realities treads the fine line of jazz/rock fusion and progressive instrumental, meaning, the songs are not merely mundane vehicles for stunt soloing in each instrument, but highly refined songs with direction and sophistication, the music certainly would appeal greatly to those of you that have bands like Bruford, Happy the Man, Helmet Of Gnats, Metheny, Tribal Tech, Weather Report, Caldera, DiMeola, and other in your collections of favorites. Al himself cites the likes of Holdsworth, Eric Johnson, Jeff Berlin, Bela Bartok, Brand X, ELP, Jaco, Yes, etc as major influences to his love and passion for music, and with his feet standing in both the fusion and progressive worlds, it is no mistake that his music perfectly reflects his deepest regard for these challenging musical cultures.

At the point of this review, my feelings are that Al Garcia needs to be heard by the fusion circles that are existing today, this cd rates as some of the most well arranged instrumental music I have had the pleasure of musing over in recent years, and as for his playing? It's rare when I cannot tell a multi-tasking artist's first instrument, and in Al's case, it's really blurry to me whether he prefers the bass over the guitar, not that it matters, as his mastery of each is ever present through each song here, he displays not only true artistic expression on each instrument, but also quite a diverse arsenal of genre's are exhibited as well.