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SERGIO ALVAREZ

Symphonic Prog • Argentina


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Sergio Alvarez picture
Sergio Alvarez biography
Born on March 8th of 1967, Argentinean keyboard wizard Sergio ÁLVAREZ can be first described as the South American equivalent to progressive monsters Keith EMERSON and Rick WAKEMAN simultaneously. As a solo artist, he has recorded a handful of albums in which he delivers an enormous sound based on old school symphonic prog, full of melodic depth, bombast and stylish virtuosity. Actually, he comes from a family of musicians (for instance, his father was a bandoneon player who led a Tango ensemble in the 50s). When Sergio was just 18, he was a member of IN EXTREMIS, a band that played a hybrid between AOR, pop and prog rock: this adventure lasted almost 10 years. Besides that, he played as a session musician for jazz, blues and folklore bands, and also wrote music for radio and TV jingles.

Citing ELP, YES, Rick WAKEMAN, PINK FLOYD and GENESIS as main influences, his musical work and performances are best expressed in his solo albums, naturally. The first one, "Pasaje A La revelación", was released in 1999. It was praised by progressive rock fans and critics within the small circuits devoted to art-rock, but he didn't rest on his laurels; instead, he wrote and recorded more material that would eventually be part of his next album entitled "Escenas De Ficción", which was released just one year later. This sophomore release included a monumental 27 minute long epic named 'Sueño de un explorador', the clearest example of the sort of musical ambition that ÁLVAREZ had always had in mind. Additionally, it caught the attention of foreign progressive media - Progression Magazine (USA), Progressive Newsletter (Germany), Exposé (USA), Wonderous Stories (Italy), Background Magazine (Holland). What's more, on September 13th of that same year, he played as the opening act to Rick WAKEMAN at the prestigious Gran Rex, Buenos Aires. Later on, he made a small European tour (October 2003) and played twice at Baja Prog 2006 (Mexico). At the time, he had already released his third album "Naturalezas Disonantes", which not only enhanced his obvious symphonic prog patterns but also included refreshing elements of World music and spacey atmospheres in places. Clearly, Sergio ÁLVAREZ is always open to the challenges of evolving as a composer and a performer.

While on record he uses digital substitutes of a rhythm section, on stage he is accompanied by a live drummer. In 2008, he conducted a series of musical TV programs that featured him interviewing fellow musicians ...
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SERGIO ALVAREZ discography


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SERGIO ALVAREZ top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.80 | 5 ratings
Pasaje A La Revelación
1999
4.00 | 4 ratings
Escenas De Ficción
2000
3.42 | 10 ratings
Naturalezas Disonantes
2006

SERGIO ALVAREZ Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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SERGIO ALVAREZ Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Naturalezas Disonantes by ALVAREZ, SERGIO album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.42 | 10 ratings

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Naturalezas Disonantes
Sergio Alvarez Symphonic Prog

Review by TenYearsAfter

3 stars FIRST REVIEW OF THIS ALBUM"

'An overlooked Latin-American keyboard wizard'

After the great keyboardwork by Seventies Argentinian progrock bands Crusis and MIA, here's a more recent Latin-American answer to Seventies Symphonic Rock keyboard wizards Keith Emerson and Rick Wakeman: Sergio Alvarez. He was born in the Argentine city Necochea in 1967 and grew up in a musical family, his father was a bandonion player and conductor of his own Tango Orchestra in the Fifties. In his early childhood he started to play piano, together with his elder brothers. In 1987 he founded the formation In Extremis that existed 10 years and produced one album entitled Solo Seduccion (1995), a blend of rock, pop and progressive. In the late Nineties Sergio his music is firmly rooted into the Classic Symphonic Rock tradition like Genesis, Yes and ELP, to be heard on his acclaimed first solo CD Pasaje A La Revelacion in 1999. It was voted as the best Argentine release in that year and received lots of positive reviews by the progrock press in many different countries. In 2000 Sergio made his second album called Escenas De Ficcion. At the same time Sergio made a live show as support-act of the legendary English keyboard wizard Rick Wakeman in the Gran Rex Theatre in Buenos Aires, in front of 4000 spectators on the occasion that Wakeman was touring South America. In 2003 he performed a small tour in Europe playing in different stages in Barcelona (Spain), Metz and Paris (France) and Amsterdam (Holland) and three years later Sergio released his third solo album called Naturalezas Disonantes, in the same year he performed on the annual Baja Prog Festival in Mexico. In January 2007 Sergio released a DVD entilted Sergio Alvarez Live At Auditorium Theatre Necochea. And then he started to work on a micro musical project for television and beginning to compose his next album, organizing future shows in Argentina and preparing international concerts for 2009.

Unfortunately I cannot find further information about Sergio Alvarez after 2009. I only stumbled upon video footage on the Internet Sergio Alvarez playing famous soundtracks (like Gladiator), very impressive with a huge array of keyboards, like his heroes Rick Wakeman and Keith Emerson!

On his third solo album entitled Naturalezas Disonantes Sergio half of the ten compositions (7 instrumentals, running time 55 minutes) contains tradional keyboard driven symphonic rock (often obviously inspired by Banks but also Emerson and Wakeman) with flowing shifting moods like in the tracks Leaving Of The Urban Territory (fluent synthesizer flights, strong break with a guitar solo ' produced by his keyboards - and swinging piano and a slow synthesizer solo, culminating in a compelling atmosphere), Absurd Promises (great keyboards, from tender or sparkling piano to pleasant synthesizer work and moving guitar runs), When The Road Is Far Ahead (bombastic organ and synthesizers), Without Time (powerful organ sound, classically inspired synthesizer work and wonderful interplay between electric guitar and piano) and the titletrack (tasteful jazzy Fender Rhodes electric piano sound, a swirling organ solo and fluent synthesizer flights).

But in comparison with his two previous efforts, Sergio has broaden his musical horizon, the other half of this album contains a lot of varied songs.

A dreamy ballad with warm vocals and pleasant synthesizer runs (but a bit irritating rhythm box sound) in Let's Wake Up Now.

A sultry climate with ominous keyboards.

The distinctive sound of Indian tablas, and a captivating Morish sounding synthesizer solo in Travel From Orient.

New Age oriented atmosphere with dreamy piano and soaring keyboards in the a bit smooth The Landscape Of The Sensibility.

A beautiful solo piece featuring Grand piano (from tender to sparkling) in The Fragrance Of The Good Air.

And majestic classical orchestrations in the final track The End Of The Revalation.

My conclusion: I prefer Sergio to make interesting musical experiments like Travel From Orient rather than smooth New Age but in general I am very pleased with Sergio his accessible sounding keyboard driven album. This Argentine keyboard virtuoso knows how to arrange tasteful and varied songs with a good balance between the keyboards and the rest of the instruments. I presume this third solo album is his swansong.

My rating: 3,5 star.

Thanks to cesar inca for the artist addition.

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