Reviewer: Angel Romero
Review Date: August 2014
Al Garcia, an Exceptionally Good Multi-Instrumentalist
Tampering with Nature (Wandlar Productions, 2014)
Tampering with Nature is the latest release by indie progressive music artist Al Garcia. The exciting composer and multi-instrumentalist dominates guitars and bass, and also plays drums and percussion as well. Tampering with Nature combines the best of jazz fusion, progressive rock, classical, guitar hero rock, and Latin music elements.
Al Garcia’s beautifully crafted pieces contain enthralling arrangements and skillful guitar and bass solos. Tampering with Nature features drummer Martin Souvervbielle on ‘Voices’ and vocalist Karen Kuser on ‘The Digital Maze.’
Al Garcia’s guitar style sometimes recalls the sound of the great Alan Holdsworth, which is one of the most exhilarating players in the electric jazz scene. Garcia crosses over easily into various musical territories. ‘The Miraculous Mirage’ has a delightful National Health-era Canterbury feel. It’s like Canterbury meets Afro-Cuban music.
What makes Al Garcia’s music stand out is the fact that he is an excellent instrumentalist and a superb composer as well.
On Tampering with Nature, Al Garcia used a wide variety of instruments, including 4, 5, and 6 string fretted and fretless basses and several 6 string electric and acoustic guitars. Garcia utilizes digital technology to record, compose, and perform his music. He uses a guitar synthesizer to create sounds generally unavailable to string players.
Al was born in Newark, New Jersey (USA). He started playing the bass guitar at the age of 13. He was influenced early on by Jack Bruce and Felix Papalardi, two bass visionaries who helped develop the role of the bass guitar in rock music. He later expanded his musical influences to include Jazz, Classical, and Indian music after hearing John McLaughlin and the Mahavishnu Orchestra.
The music of Allan Holdsworth inspired Al to play the electric guitar as a means of expressing another side of his musical identity. Other influences on his playing include the music of J.S. Bach, Charlie Parker, Bela Bartok, Eric Johnson, Jaco Pastorious, Jeff Berlin, Brand X, ELP, Yes and pianist Bill Evans.
His first album was Make it So, followed by Alternate Realities, and All Things Must Converge.
Tampering with Nature is an exceptionally good album that will please fusion and progressive rock fans alike.