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LEON ALVARADO

Symphonic Prog • United States


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Leon Alvarado picture
Leon Alvarado biography
Self-admittedly, Leon makes the music he wants to listen to, and his interests are always evolving. From Progressive Rock to ambient and even fusion, Leon?s music takes an adventurous trip and brings us along for the ride.
Leon relishes the opportunity to collaborate with fellow musicians through the digital world, eagerly embracing relevant advancements in technology. He knows what he wants out of his music but at the same time, values and respects the input from the musicians that play on his recordings. ?I?m not going to tell a brilliant guitar player how to play his guitar. Let others do what they do best and concentrate on the big picture.? The result is a rewarding synthesis where all participants shine.

Leon?s recordings date back to the late 70?s but it wasn?t until 2008 that Leon released his first album, ?Plays Genesis and Other Original Stuff.? The record drew on his strongest musical influences, primarily, the many styles in Genesis?s lengthy career. By this time he had been living in the United States for some time as an award-winning designer creating, among other things, artwork for album covers and promotional posters for many of the bands and musicians he had been originally impacted by, such as Jethro Tull, Roger Waters, Phil Collins, King?s X, Yes, Genesis and Jeff Beck. Approaching the work as both soundscape and visual has given Leon unique insight into broadening the experience as a whole.

By the time ?Strangers in Strange Places? was released, Leon had refined his method and his vision, and it?s the audience who wins. ?Strangers? features Brand X?s John Goodsall and the legendary drummer Bill Bruford (Yes, King Crimson, Earthwork) and reveals an intertwining of progressive rock and ambient textural sound that then blossoms in his third release, ?2014, Music from an Expanded Universe,? the first under the Melodic Revolution Records banner. For this mini-LP, Leon enlists the guitar skills of Trey Gunn (King Crimson), the masterful drumming of Jerry Marotta (better known for his work with Peter Gabriel as well as Orleans and later Hall and Oates) and the ambient music duo better known as ?Cyber Zen Sound Engine.?Hot on the heels of his critically acclaimed third album ?2014, Music from an Expanded Universe?, keyboardist/composer Leon Alvarado will be released his new album ?The Future Left Behind? on July 30, 2016! The highly anticipated new concept album features guest appearances by YES Legends Rick Wakeman & Billy Sh...
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Leon Alvarado Plays Genesis & Other Original StuffLeon Alvarado Plays Genesis & Other Original Stuff
CD Baby 2009
Audio CD$11.49
$11.90 (used)
2014 Music from an Expanded Universe2014 Music from an Expanded Universe
CD Baby 2016
Audio CD$9.84
$3.00 (used)
Future Left BehindFuture Left Behind
Import
CD Baby 2016
Audio CD$5.96 (used)
Persistence - SinglePersistence - Single
CD Baby 2015
Audio CD$4.01
$2.80 (used)
Strangers in Strange PlacesStrangers in Strange Places
CD Baby 2012
Audio CD$8.15
$8.14 (used)
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LEON ALVARADO discography


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LEON ALVARADO top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

1.00 | 1 ratings
Plays Genesis and Other Original Stuff
2009
2.96 | 4 ratings
The Future Left Behind
2016

LEON ALVARADO Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

LEON ALVARADO Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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LEON ALVARADO Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.00 | 1 ratings
Strangers In Strange Places
2010
2.00 | 1 ratings
2014 Music from an Expanded Universe
2014
1.00 | 1 ratings
Persistence
2015
2.00 | 1 ratings
Launch Overture
2016

LEON ALVARADO Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 2014 Music from an Expanded Universe by ALVARADO, LEON album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2014
2.00 | 1 ratings

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2014 Music from an Expanded Universe
Leon Alvarado Symphonic Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

— First review of this album —
2 stars The 2014 Microcosm

The first thing that strikes you when considering this digital EP by Leon Alvarado is how the cover picture brings to mind the incredible artwork of Emerson, Lake & Palmer's classic masterpiece Brain Salad Surgery. This is no coincidence as it is explicitly stated on the Melodic Revolution Records website where this EP is freely available for streaming that the artwork is indeed "dedicated to the memory of Hans Rudolph Giger" the artist who created the legendary cover for Brain Salad Surgery.

Musically, on the other hand, this has nothing to do with the Symphonic Prog of ELP. 2014 Music from an Expanded Universe is probably best described as electronic music. Trey Gunn (who was a member of King Crimson in the 1990's and early 2000's) adds bass and "Warr Guitars" and is also credited as co-composer of the ambient introduction, Irreverence, Part I. The highlight of the proceedings is the second track, The 2014 Microcosm, on which drums are provided by Jerry Marotta (who played with Peter Gabriel, Tony Levin, among others). This is an up-beat, sort of Jean- Michel Jarre/Vangelis kind of tune.

Blood Like Red is more ambient again at first, but builds towards a Mike Oldfield-like conclusion with guitars. Irreverence, Part II rounds the programme off before the "live" version of Cinemania (which first appeared on Leon Alvarado plays Genesis and other Original Stuff) which is best considered a bonus track. Audience sounds are lamely added to make it sound like a live performance, but it is obviously a pure studio creation.

2014 Music from an Expanded Universe is a pleasant listen, but ultimately forgettable.

 Strangers In Strange Places by ALVARADO, LEON album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2010
2.00 | 1 ratings

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Strangers In Strange Places
Leon Alvarado Symphonic Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

— First review of this album —
2 stars Broken promises

Strangers In Strange Places is a three track EP by Lean Alvarado. The first track, Strange Places, is a sort of Jazz- Rock/Fusion styled piece and the highlight of the EP. Two guests are credited on this track including the legendary Bill Bruford of Yes, King Crimson and U.K. fame. However, when you read the small print it becomes clear that this is something of a fraud as it is actually only "drum loops from Bill Bruford's 'Packet of 3' used by permission of Bill Bruford Productions Ltd. Edited and arranged by Leon Alvarado". Well, well, at least the guitars by John Goodsall are "real".

Broken Promises is an ambient piece and a more monotonous affair. That is presented in an "extended" version does not help (the original version appears on the album Leon Alvarado plays Genesis and other Original Stuff). The final track a rather lacklustre cover of Genesis' Second Home By The Sea.

 Launch Overture by ALVARADO, LEON album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2016
2.00 | 1 ratings

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Launch Overture
Leon Alvarado Symphonic Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

— First review of this album —
2 stars Tormato

The opening track from the album The Future Left Behind by Leon Alvarado is here presented in an alternate edit on this digital single. Actually, calling it an "edit" undersells it somewhat as it is really more of an alternate arrangement of the tune with some parts that came at the beginning of the album version now appear instead at the end of the track. It is hard to say which version is better, but it is anyway the best song from the album and a nice one in its own right. Yes legends Rick Wakeman and Billy Sherwood appear as guests on the track with Rick doing a Moog solo and Billy playing guitars. The cover art clearly gives a nod to Yes' Tormato.

 The Future Left Behind by ALVARADO, LEON album cover Studio Album, 2016
2.96 | 4 ratings

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The Future Left Behind
Leon Alvarado Symphonic Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

3 stars Journey into space

The structure of The Future Left Behind by Leon Alvarado is clearly modelled on Rick Wakeman's Journey To The Centre of The Earth with similarly styled narration alternating with instrumental music. Wakeman himself actually appears here as a guest contributing a Moog solo to the opening Launch Overture. The guitars are provided by another Yes-man in Billy Sherwood with the exception of the lovely acoustic guitar piece To Be Loved which is played by Johnny Bruhns (at some point Sherwood's band mate in Circa). Everything else is done by Alvarado who plays keyboards and drums among other things. The drums is the weakest link in the sound and it would have been much advisable to hire another drummer for the proceedings. The narration is well done and the story paints a bleak picture of our planet's future albeit with some silver linings. Still, as is often the case with narration on music albums, it tends to get tedious on repeated listens. Thankfully the narration is isolated to separate tracks that can easily be programmed out leaving around 35 minutes of decent instrumental music.

Hardly a groundbreaking release, but pleasant enough.

Thanks to southsideofthesky for the artist addition.

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