Leon Alvarado | Strangers In Strange Places

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Brand-X Genesis Yes

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United States - Texas

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Rock: Progressive Rock Jazz: Progressive Jazz Moods: Instrumental
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Strangers In Strange Places

by Leon Alvarado

Twenty minutes of music on three separate instrumental pieces including Genesis' "Second Home by the Sea". Also, guest performances by Jon Goodsall (Brand-X) on guitars and drum tracks by Bill Brufford (Yes, Genesis, King Crimson).
Genre: Rock: Progressive Rock
Release Date: 

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1. Strange Places
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5:03 $0.99
2. Broken Promises (Extended version)
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8:02 $0.99
3. Second Home By the Sea
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7:06 $0.99
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
This EP is the follow up CD to my previous album "Play Genesis and Other Original Stuff". It includes the instrumental "Second Home by the Sea" (which I consider one of the best pieces of the latter part of Genesis long career as a band), as well as an extended version of "Broken Promises" (the bonus track on the previous album), and my first adventure in "fusion" titled "Strange Places." To top it off, the CD has guest performances by legendary musicians John Goodsall and Bill Bruford.

The EP consists of three songs that span for twenty minutes of music in a beautiful full-color printed CD. All tightly shrink-wrapped in a gate-fold jacket reminiscent of the album covers from the days when the artwork was as cool as the music inside of it. "Strangers in Strange Places" puts together an unlikely cast of musicians in a musical adventure aimed at the fan of progressive rock as well as any Genesis or Brand-X fan. Like its predecessor, it is a labor of love and the culmination of lots of work and close attention to detail. From the flow of the music, to the flow of the illustrations within the jacket, I tried to put together a CD that would complement as well as appeal to any CD collector that loves the genre.

If there would be a motto for this CD, it would be; "Keep moving forward and never backwards". The CD takes off from where the last album ended but at the same time, it adds lots of differences to make it stand out on its own. For one, the guest performances by Goodsall and Bruford. Another one would be the superb mastering job done by Andy Walter over at the world-reknown Abbey Road Studios. Andy has worked in the past with artist such as Sir Paul McCartney, Radiohead and Roxy Music. Andy is also quite known for doing lots of surround-sound mastering for movies such as the Harry Potter series.

Ever since I was introduce to Brand-X back in the mid-to-late seventies, I have been a fan. The combination of Goodsall on guitars, Percy Jones on bass, Phil Collins on drums and Robert Lumley on keyboards proved to be one of my favorite lineups on any band ever. I met John Goodsall while researching some topic for my previous project. It never occurred to me at the time that I would end up sending him a demo of my song and asking him if he would be interested in playing the guitar part for it. However, after trying a couple of other guitar players to no avail, I decided that I had nothing to loose. After all, I needed somebody that would help me in getting the song to another level rather than just trying to figure out my song structure, etc. To my delight, John liked the piece and the rest is the recorded history that can be heard on "Strange Places".

Bill Bruford is considered to be one of the best drummers to ever play behind a kit. His unique time signatures and overall creativity are the main reasons why he has become so legendary. Bill has played with some of the best progressive rock bands to grace this earth. Bands such as Yes, King Crimson and Genesis as well as playing with his own critically acclaimed jazz band Earthworks. I approached Bill Bruford through his production company. Basically I wanted to use some recorded tracks he did a few years ago and edit them into fitting my song which I did, once they granted me permission. How lucky can I guy get by having such high-caliber musicians performing on his composition?

"Second Home by the Sea" was one of the songs I had cut out my last album because of time and money constrains. Since it was almost two thirds done, I went back into the studio and finished it. To a large extent, it is pretty faithfull rendition of the original song salvo for a few different arrangements here and there. One of the things I changed was to add a track of "ghostly" sounds at around the 4:40 mark on the song. I also replaced the vocals at the end of the song with a small guitar solo and changed the intro to fit the context of my project. I am quite pleased with the result and can only hope that Genesis fans will find it to their liking as well. My intentions are always to create an experience worth owning. Not only in the musical sense, but also in the artwork and even the merchandising. I create these projects always keeping in mind the fan's point of view. Mainly because I am a fan myself; a progressive rock fan, a Genesis fan, a Brand-X fan, a John Goodsall fan and a Bill Bruford fan. I have tried to put all that together in a CD that also has plenty of my personal touch in all that mix.

I hope you enjoy it.


Reviews


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Anton Richter

Very good indeed!
I saw one of Leon's postings on a progressive music forum. i decided to check his claims out and found his music to be better than what I expected. It is hard to peg down where he comes from musically and his pieces tend to fit as if they were some kind of soundtrack. I quite like it and recommend it. His pieces are very progressive and quite accessible at the same time. Nothing too hard-core but nothing poppy about it. Well done Leon!

Back In NYC

Vintage warmth with Melodic Edge
Now I have both of Alvarado's musical endeavors. Love them. I have to say, that his creative ideas are outstanding. I certainly appreciate the stellar guitar work from John Goodsall. Brand X meets Genesis. It is hard not to wax nostalgia when you have the likes of Goodsall and Bruford on the same album. One very important aspect for the listener to realize is that, just when one thinks Alvarado's phrasing is going in one direction and may be deemed predictable, Leon changes gears on us completely. The way a true to form progressive artist should. This disc will remain in my cd changer for a long, long time. I can only wish that I would have the opportunity of seeing this artist's work performed live! This music is well worth the cost of admission. Great Work Leon. Keep it coming

William Jahn

Another great effort by Leon
I loved Leon's first CD so much that I went and bought this one. I downloaded Strange Places and loved the direction of it. It sort of reminded me of something like Jean Luc Ponty. That's the song with Bruford on drums and Goodsall on guitars. Great stuff, you can't go wrong with those legends on the recording. I went ahead and order the CD because I enjoyed the packaging from his previous album so much that I thought it would be cool to get this one too. I gave it a listen and loved what he did with Second Home by The Sea, the ocean sounds and the extended guitar solo (was that also Goodsall?). The only thing I didn't like about the CDis that is a bit short but then again, it is an EP and as far as EPs go, 20 minutes is not bad. I highly recommend this CD to anyone who likes prog and prog-jazz. So far, I like everything Leon has put out. I can only hope that he will continue doing so.