Reviewer: Eddie Lascu
Review Date: January 2007
Alternate Realities" is the second studio release from poly-
instrumentalist Al Garcia. It follows up to his highly acclaimed debut
album, "Make It So", released in 2002. Started as a bass player,
Garcia moved on to other instruments and now is equally skilled on
guitar, synthesizer and drums. This release is a one man show, with
little support from Chris Garcia (drums on 4 tracks), Dean Rohan
(drums on 1 track) and Fred Ramirez (the beautiful piano intro on
track 4). Having said that, I tried to find another similar release,
where one artist would record virtually all instruments and the music
would be as coherent and well balanced as "Alternate Realities"
and I couldn't think of anything. The sound is so rounded and full,
you can hardly guess that there is no band behind it.
Al Garcia's legato style with its synthesized guitar that can be heard
on some songs is bound to like to all Holdsworth fans out there. The
music is a good mixture of fusion and progressive rock with Latin
influences. With only one track under 5 minutes (the electronic,
Red-era KC influenced "The Pleasures of Progress") the whole
album clocks in at over 57 minutes. It flows very nicely from the title
track to "Secret Correspondences" where the Latin flavour is the
most evident, to "Materia Prima" where I can hear some bossa-nova
rhythms, to the "Three of a Kind" that is a true progressive gem.
This album will surely get a lot of playtime around as I discover a lot
of excellent musical ideas.