Just saw Bohemian Rhapsody, and even though they screwed up a lot of things chronologically and factually, it still captured the essence of Freddie Mercury and brought back a cool memory from when I was 18. Queen was an obsession for me in high school. Their music was a constant soundtrack of my life and I had all their albums. My band at the time wrote many songs inspired by Queen and even learned all the harmonies to “Love of my Life”, including Brian May’s guitar solo, which I transcribed and taught myself to play.
In February of 1993, about a year and a half after Freddie’s death, Brian May put out a great solo album called “Back to the Light.” I heard through the grapevine that he was giving a secret, free concert at the old Agora in Cleveland. I went with my bandmates, Matthew James Murphy and Matthew Parrotta. The show was killer and afterward, we wanted to try to get backstage. It was frigid cold and snowing outside and there was a huge line of people waiting to meet Brian. We were in the back of the line freezing our asses off, so we just started singing as loud as we could, hoping the guy guarding the door would hear us.
All of a sudden, the door opens, someone from the crew along with the drummer Cozy Powell walks up to us and leads us past the crowd straight to the backstage area. There, standing in front of us, was Brain May! We sang him one of our songs and gave him our demo tape. He was very gracious, complimentary, and we chatted for a while. He signed our CD’s and we thanked him.
For what it’s worth, the memory of that night is forever etched in my mind.
Thank you, Brian, Freddie, and Queen for the incredible music and inspiration!
– Joe Deninzon
Check out the latest album Guilty of Innocence by Joe Deninzon & Stratospheerius available Worldwide on CD, LP & All Quality Digital Formates
CD Baby: https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/joedeninzonstratospheeri5
Amazon: USA: http://amzn.to/2wNvjpo
Melodic Revolution Records is pleased to announce that Joe Deninzon & Stratospheerius will release their LP of their highly acclaimed fifth album “Guilty of Innocence” a year after the official CD release via Melodic Revolution Records. The 10-track LP will be available worldwide in both Physical and Digital formats. As with the previous CD & Digital version “Guilty of Innocence” features special appearances by Alex Skolnick(Testament), Rave Tesar(Renaissance) and Randy McStine (Lo-Fi Resistance, The Fringe).
“Guilty of Innocence” highlights include the hit singles “Behind the Curtain” a reimagined cover of Muse’s “Hysteria,” and the 12-minute prog mini-epic titled “Soul Food” which features many of the guests mentioned above, plus “Dream Diary Cadenza,” a solo electric violin extravaganza lifted from Joe’s electric violin concerto.
Stratospheerius is led by founding member, electric violinist & vocalist Joe Deninzonwho has been called the “Jimi Hendrix of the electric violin.” “Guilty of Innocence” features French guitarist Aurelien Budynek(Cindy Blackman, Vernon Reid), bassist Jamie Bishop(The Syn, Francis Dunnery), and drummer Lucianna Padmore, praised by Modern Drummer Magazine for her “Deep grooves and serious fusion chops.”
Joe talks about the Vinyl/LP version of “Guilty of Innocence”
Guilty of Innocence was a watershed moment for Stratospheeriusthis past year. After years of touring and putting out CD’s, I felt that this record was embraced by the progressive rock community on a bigger scale than any of our previous releases. In our touring and festival appearances alongside other artists in the prog world, I noticed more and more artists are manufacturing vinyl, and in many cases, it is outselling their CD’s at live shows. I believe the resurgent interest in vinyl has to do with the fact that in the digital age, we consume music on the go in a condensed mp3/streaming format. There is a hunger to hold something tangible in our hands, admire the artwork on a record, and have the home listening experience be something special. We are excited to join the growing community of artists putting out vinyl and hope our fans will buy the record and rediscover it (or DISCOVERit)!
Artist: Joe Deninzon & Stratospheerius
Album Title: “Guilty of Innocence”
Status: Limited Edition of 250 copies
Format: 33 rpm black vinyl – LP
Extras: Custom LP sleeve, all LPs come with a FREE download card
Release Date: Monday, October 8th, 2018
Pre-Orders begin Friday, September 14, 2018
Pre-Orders Price $25
Catalog No. MRRLP-12-006
Label: Melodic Revolution Records
1. Behind The Curtain 03:43
2. Take Your Medicine 04:10
3. Guilty Of Innocence 03:16
4. Face 05:46
5. Hysteria 04:13
6. Affluenza 03:08
1. Parallel Reality 03:10
2. Game Of Chicken 05:03
3. Dream Diary Cadenza 04:12
4.Soul Food 12:46
Vinyl Pre-Orders begin Friday, September 14, 2018
What the critics are saying:
“Joe Deninzon has made a career…wielding his violin like a guitar. In that way, he has pioneered a new standard for rock violin, much the same way Ian Anderson did for flute.”
– PROGRESSION MAGAZINE
This is infectious, with no cure in sight. The arrangements are tight, everyone bounces off each other, and is one of the most poptastic progressive album one is likely to come across
5/5 Kev Rowland // Prog Archives
One of the perks of being a reviewer is that on some days you get the pleasure of getting introduced to some music or bands you never heard of but are actually quite good. Or in the case of Joe Deninzon And Stratospheerius, really good!
9/10 Arno Agterberg // DPRP
Joe Deninzon’s music is always both entertaining and creative. I have to say that this might very well be the best Stratospheerius album.
Gary Hill // Music Street Journal
The album comes with plenty of Progressive Rock tracks, it’s the other songs containing other styles that help to make the release even more entertaining. If you happen to be a fan of Progressive Rock, the new album of Guilty of Innocence album from Joe Deninzon and the band Stratospheerius is one album you need to check out.
Matheson Kamin // The Rock and Roll Report
Sonic Voyage Festival and “Vinyl Release Party” with special guests
Oct 4th, 2018 doors at 7 pm
Shrine World Music Venue
2274 Adam Clayton Powell Blvd. NY, NY
October 6th2018 at Midnight
Union County Performing Arts Center
1601 Irving Street, Rahway, New Jersey 07065
Joe Deninzon & Stratospheerius Online.
Official Website: http://www.stratospheerius.com/
MRR Artist Profile: http://mrrmusic.com/joe-deninzon-stratospheerius/
Media Contact: Anne Leighton
Leighton Media [email protected]
Label: Melodic Revolution Records
Nick Katona: [email protected]
Melodic Revolution Records Online:
Melodic Revolution Records Spotify Playlists:
If you’ve attempted to keep up with the news cycle in recent years, then Conundrum, the title of the Alex Skolnick Trio’s new album from Palmetto Records/MRI, should be a no-brainer. “It represents the sense of confusion many of us are feeling in the midst of the strangest sociopolitical upheavals of our lifetimes,” says Skolnick, the guitarist and composer who helped define thrash metal as a founding member of Testament, before establishing himself on the international jazz scene. “This album captures many styles in an effort to channel that angst into art and inspire others to do likewise.”
Photo by Nelson Oh, Electric Eyes Photography (electriceyesphotography.blogspot.com)
Ironically, given its globally pertinent message, Conundrum is in many ways Skolnick’s most intimate record yet. It is the trio’s first new studio album since 2011’s Veritas, and it features original music almost exclusively, with six compositions by Skolnick, one apiece by bassist Nathan Peck and drummer Matt Zebroski, and a gorgeous interpretation of maverick composer Erik Satie’s “Gymnopédie No. 1.”
Far removed from the musical tunnel vision of “guitar” or “shred” albums, Conundrumreflects Skolnick’s wide-ranging knowledge as a player and, even more important, as a listener. “What would I want to hear, regardless of the instrument and regardless of technique?” he asks. “That’s the type of music I try to create as an improviser and composer.”
The multi-layer, multi-section songs that resulted are, in a word, sweeping— and include plenty for guitar heads to dig into after all. Skolnick’s “Unbound,” part of which originated on piano, kicks off Conundrum with springy slapped harmonics. Beautiful chordal work follows, as well as soloing that lays out the guitarist’s m.o. as a lead player: to tell a story by varying his attack, tone, intensity and harmonic approach with masterful control. “Django Tango,” which Skolnick originally wrote for his acclaimed world-music project Planetary Coalition, is precisely what it proclaims to be—a sensual commingling of Reinhardt and Piazzolla (plus, Skolnick notes, a touch of downtown attitude via Marc Ribot y Los Cubanos Postizos).
The record’s title track feels open and airy, with inspiration culled from Chick Corea’s Spanish-influenced acoustic tunes. (The melodies are so whimsical that you might not notice the section in 5/4, or that the solos’ order upends jazz tradition.) Peck steps away from his double bass, proving a nimble presence on the electric bass here and on a couple of other tunes. A lover of classical piano, Skolnick plays Satie’s melancholy reverie on steel-string acoustic, atop Peck and Zebroski’s suitably graceful, empathetic backing.
“Culture Shock,” on which Skolnick alternates between hollowbody and Telecaster, is a go-for-broke mashup that flies from Nashville to Dubai and back again; it’s also one of the album’s tunes where the title puts Skolnick’s social and political ideas in plain sight.
Zebroski’s “Dodge the Bamboula” borrows its changes from “Dodge the Dodo,” by the late Swedish pianist-composer Esbjörn Svensson, and applies them to the much-overlooked bamboula rhythm that became a cornerstone of New Orleans’ second-line groove. During a middle section, Skolnick picks up a Gypsy-jazz guitar and we’re transported to a café in ’30s-era Paris. Skolnick’s “Key of Sea,” crafted toward the end of the album’s writing session, takes its cinematic textures from the ambient-music innovator Brian Eno and from ECM Records. (Like so many jazz devotees, Skolnick was ecstatic when ECM began streaming its entire catalog last fall; “Key of Sea” was particularly influenced by one of the label’s curated playlists, “ECM Atmospheres.”) “I think I realized not every tune needs a super-singable melody,” Skolnick comments. The album’s last two tunes find the trio more firmly on jazz terrain: “A Question of Moral Ambiguity” is a hip midtempo swinger that allows Skolnick and company to get their blues fix; and “Protect the Dream” (not to be confused with the Grover Washington Jr. tune of the same name) finds Peck, its composer, digging deep into post-Wayne Shorter harmony. Skolnick spends most of the track on steel-string acoustic, but goes full electric tilt to close, per Peck’s request.
Photo by FotoGOLAB
Born in 1968 and raised in the Bay Area, Alex Skolnick was still a teenager when he made heavy-metal history on Testament’s essential debut, The Legacy. Over his next five years with the band, he cemented his reputation as one of metal’s most gifted lead guitarists, setting chops benchmarks with his work on songs like “Burnt Offerings” and “Practice What You Preach.” He left Testament in 1992 and rejoined in 2005, and following his return the band has released three well-received studio albums and remained a major touring act in heavy music. Most recently Testament has been hitting arenas and amphitheaters as part of Slayer’s blockbuster “Final World Tour.” In 1995, after nearly getting the guitar spot in Ozzy Osbourne’s band — the Prince of Darkness seemed thrilled; his wife/manager Sharon, less so — Skolnick found himself at a crossroads. “The ultimate guitar gig, and then for it not to happen, that was really motivating for me. I really asked myself, ‘What am I going to do?’ Especially in the mid-’90s, when the guitar solo was disappearing from rock. And what do I want to do?”
His interest in jazz had been gathering steam since before he left Testament, so Skolnick headed east toward the end of the decade and enrolled at Manhattan’s venerable New School. It was there that he dug even deeper into recordings by Miles, Trane, Wes, Jim Hall, Scofield, Metheny and more; studied with jazz greats like saxophonist George Garzone and bassist Reggie Workman; and formed his trio, which debuted on record in 2002 with Goodbye to Romance: Standards for a New Generation.
The album, with its wholly convincing jazz makeovers of hard-rock staples by Kiss, Black Sabbath, Aerosmith and more, made waves that roiled through the jazz, rock and guitar communities. “The strong melodies lend themselves to improvisation in a way that their composers never imagined,” Tad Hendrickson wrote in The Village Voice. And in DownBeat, Glenn Astarita offered, “Besides the musicians’ technical prowess, they execute these rock tunes with a slant that might imply an antithesis to what was originally conceived.”
Dates at high-profile venues like the Iridium, in Manhattan, Yoshi’s, in Oakland, and the Blue Note Milano followed, as did three more critically lauded studio albums. Each of those contained at least one rock-to-postbop transformation, which has become something of a calling card for the trio. “Doing the cover tunes was something I stumbled upon,” Skolnick says. “There have been so many albums and interpretations of jazz standards and the Great American Songbook, but I really felt a connection to these songs.”
On Conundrum, however, the opportunity to showcase his inspired original music was too good to pass up. “I’m not saying we’ll never do another [rock cover],” Skolnick says, also pointing out that the vinyl version of Conundrum will contain a rendition of Scorpions’ classic ballad “Still Loving You.” “But I always wanted to expand as a composer. I always wanted my instrumental work to reflect that.”
Expansion, progress, the trust that develops within a band—these are concepts Skolnick wades into when discussing the future of the trio, and of his life in music. “With every record we do, every gig, I feel like there’s a sense of improvement,” he says. “I feel like I’m playing circles around where we were when I started improvising. Scofield, Metheny, Jeff Beck— my improvising idols—they’re always developing.”
And while Testament continues to thrive, it’s the trio and its repertoire that Skolnick can see growing old with. “These days I still love playing screaming, loud guitar and heavy metal, though I don’t think I’m going to be one of these guys who’s past social-security age and in a rock band and touring,” he says. “But I can see myself doing these songs with the trio for many years to come.”
Photo by FotoGOLAB
ALEX SKOLNICK TRIO
is promoting the new album performing live
Sept 9 – Chicago, IL (Reggie’s)
Sept 12 &13- New York, NY (The Iridium)
Sept 15- Los Angeles, CA (The Baked Potato) w/ Stu Hamm
Sept 16 – San Diego, CA (Brick By Brick)
Oct 17 – The Woodlands, TX (Dosey Doe)
Oct 18 – San Antonio, TX (Fitzgerald’s)
Oct 20 – McKinney, TX (The Guitar Sanctuary)
Europe, North America
MAXIMUM Booking / Jeff Aug
Central & South America, Asia, Oceania, Africa
MoonJune Music / Leonardo Pavkovic
“Out to Sea” is the debut Instrumental Progressive Rock Album by Fernando Perdomo, guitarist and bassist of the Dave Kerzner Band. The album draws inspiration from classic 70s Art Rock albums by the likes of Steve Hackett, Peter Banks, Steve Howe, and Jan Akkerman. Acclaimed artist Paul Whitehead painted the cover image. Other covers by Whitehead include “Trespass,” “Nursery Cryme,” and “Foxtrot” by Genesis. While all instruments on the record were played Fernando, save one drum track, he has put together a stellar group to perform the music of “Out To Sea” live.
“Out To Sea” was a pre-release on Cruise To The Edge 2018, a progressive rock concert cruise headlined by the band Yes, where Fernando played with the Dave Kerzner Band alongside Kerzner, Derek Cintron, Roger Houdaille, vocalists Durga and Lorelei McBroom (Pink Floyd), and special guests Randy McStine (The Fringe), John Wesley (Porcupine Tree), Steve Rothery (Marillion), Steve Hackett (Genesis), Harry Waters (Roger Waters), Gabriel Agudo (Bad Dreams) as well as Geoff Downes, Jon Davison, and Billy Sherwood of Yes. Fernando also played guitar in a special tribute to John Wetton with Kerzner and Thijs Van Leer of Focus. On previous performances on Cruise To The Edge, Fernando accompanied Sonja Kristina (Curved Air) and an all-star line up of progressive rock musicians in Dave Kerzner Band’s tribute to the late Greg Lake of Emerson, Lake and Palmer.
Fernando Perdomo is a known powerhouse of the LA music scene. The LA Weekly dubbed him “The millennial answer to Todd Rundgren.” He has made a name for himself as an in-demand Producer, Singer/Songwriter, and Multi-Instrumentalist. Fernando was a featured guitarist at the “Echo In The Canyon” concert in Los Angeles playing with Fiona Apple, Jakob Dylan, Regina Spektor, Beck, CatPower, and Jade Castrinos. Fernando will appear in the “Echo In The Canyon” documentary film and album scheduled for release in the spring of 2018.
Fernando recorded most of the bass and guitars on the acclaimed albums “New World” and “Static” by Dave Kerzner, along with Steve Hackett (Genesis), Keith Emerson (ELP), Simon Phillips (The Who), Colin Edwin (Porcupine Tree), Durga McBroom (Pink Floyd), Francis Dunnery (It Bites), Nick D’Virgilio (Spock’s Beard), Billy Sherwood (Yes) and more.
Fernando is personally donating $1 for every copy of the album sold to Macmillan Caring Locally (http://www.macmillanlocal.org/about-us.php), a charity chosen by Lisa Wetton for donations from Fernando’s release of his “Starless” cover in honor of John Wetton. The “Starless” cover is the bonus track on the Cherry Red version of the album “Out To Sea”.
Fernando has several new Prog Rock projects in the works, including “Out To Sea 2” which he expects to release Fall 2018.
“Out To Sea” is slated for worldwide distribution through Cherry Red Records starting May 4, 2018.
The Architect (Tribute to Peter Banks)
Out To Sea
Roses Spread All Over The World
The Future According To Roye (Tribute To Roye Albrighton)
Dreaming In Stereo Suite
Bonus Track:Starless (cover, Tribute To John Wetton)
The reviews are pouring in for “Out To Sea”:
“…This album was really a surprise. Many guitar solo albums are different versions of the same thing; not the case here. From the first listen, ‘Out to Sea’ is captivating as it is different…” – The Prog Report,
“To call Fernando Perdomo a genius is like saying it snows in the arctic. An imaginative artist, producer, songwriter and sideman, he takes his cues from his beloved influences of the ’60s and ’70s – The Beatles, the Alan Parsons Project, ELO, et. al. – and then absorbs them into his own output, resulting in a glorious mesh of sonics and suggestion…” – Lee Zimmerman, Goldmine Magazine,
“There’s still plenty of life in the sounds and structures of the classic prog era, and the invention, lyricism and sheer joy Fernando Perdomoa brings to this album prove it.” – Kruekutt, Progarchy,
To purchase Fernando Perdomo’s “Out to Sea”: http://geni.us/OutToSea
Fernando Perdomo’s official website: http://fernandoperdomo.com/
For more info and interview requests, contact: Ann Rinaldi, ACR Management, PH: 252-402-5395 [email protected]
Power of Prog are thrilled to announce that on Friday 2.2.2018 we will premiere the latest video Behind the Curtain by Joe Deninzon & Stratospheerius
Behind the Curtain is the second video form the bands latest release Guilty of Innocence released September 29, 2017, via Melodic Revolution Records.
Guilty of Innocence is the 5th studio CD by electric violinist Joe Deninzon & Stratospheerius. The album features guest appearances by guitarist Alex Skolnick (Testament), keyboardist Rave Tesar (Renaissance), and guitarist/vocalist Randy McStine(The Fringe).
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