Melodic Revolution 2014
Stopgap rapture from a prog latecomer widening his cosmos with every new cycle.
It took Leon Alvarado’s talent three decades – having started in the late ’70s, the keyboardist’s first work, “Plays Genesis And Other Original Stuff,” landed only in 2008 – but this only means it arrived ripened and fully fledged. More so, it attracted such luminaries as Bill Bruford and John Goodsall, who joined Alvarado on 2010’s “Strangers In Strange Places,” and 2015 would see Leon record with Rick Wakeman. In the meantime, though, he had to fill the space with a mini-album which references the artist’s debut via dynamic live take on “Cinemania” while creating a new suite to precede it.
Bookended with a piece called “Irreverence” whose opening part is co-written by Trey Gunn, a guitarist and bassist on all four tracks here, the record initially takes a minimalistic route erecting lucid dreamscapes along the way, crystalline and subsonic at the same time. Yet “The 2014 Microcosm” injects Jerry Marotta-propelled groove in it as if to cast some rocks into the rippled surface, but its a CRIMSO homage “Blood Like Red” that dusts off majestic, if deliberately pale, Mellotron matter to shape a shining wall of heavy harmonies. The resulting tension is carefully boiled down at the end leaving once heartbeat fastened with pleasure. A pause to enjoy.