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JESÚS MUÑOZ FERNÁNDEZ

Symphonic Prog • Spain


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Jesús Muñoz Fernández picture
Jesús Muñoz Fernández biography
Normally we don't add amateur musicians, but the case of Jesús is special, being that his music is extremely professional.

Jesús lives in Piedras Blancas "Asturias" at the beautiful Spain, even when he works as teacher, his passion in the guitar which he started to play at the age of 17.

Later he discovered YES and got obsessed with Steve Howe's style, he became a fan of Steve Howe. Pink Floyd, Camel, Genesis and Mike Oldfield who influenced his compositions.

Even when he never planned to release an album, Jesús managed to compile his compositions and self produce a very professional virtual album which was called "Strategies", receiving positive comments from Jerry Donahue (FAIRPORT CONVENTION) and Billy Sherwood (YES) in messages he keeps as a treasure.

His plans for the future are to contact a studio and release the physical album with real drums to enhance the already great sound.

We hope to listen from him very soon

Iván Melgar-Morey :::: Perú

Jesús Muñoz Fernández official website

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4.00 | 1 ratings
Strategies
2015

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JESÚS MUÑOZ FERNÁNDEZ Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Strategies by MUÑOZ FERNÁNDEZ, JESÚS album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.00 | 1 ratings

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Strategies
Jesús Muñoz Fernández Symphonic Prog

Review by FragileKings
Prog Reviewer

— First review of this album —
4 stars Bill Bruford expressed something that many of us may be thinking: that in today's music world it is possible for any amateur to sit at home with a guitar, a mic, and computer and software and record music for distribution via the Internet. He laments that, while much of this music may be very good, it has not passed the test of approval by large audiences. Young bands used to have to play live a lot to hone their chops before they got that elusive record deal and were on their way to becoming recording artists. For those who tried to cut their own vinyl, a pretty chunk o' cash was often necessary, often put up by a supportive relative. Well, good software and mics do not come cheap, but as opposed to a whole band at work or a multi-instrumentalist plugging away, it's now possible to create much music by filling out a band or orchestra with software contributions, and the hobbyist amateur vies for an audience along with bands who are hoping that their music might someday pay for itself.

Are any of you concerned about this?

Well, I'll admit the thought does cross my mind from time to time. But in the last year or so I have had the opportunity to hear music by artists I wouldn't have likely heard about had it not been for their efforts to release a CD album of their work. Some are struggling professionals who have to rely on pledges or self-financing to get their music out there. Others sit on that fence between amateur and semi-pro. No matter what though, the music is usually quite good.

Now here's Jesus Munoz, an amateur according to his profile page on PA and an unusual entry as PA usually doesn't accept amateurs. But an exception was made for him because his self-produced album is actually an impressive piece of work. If he is indeed an amateur then he proves that the difference between amateur and professional is only the money and by no means measured in talent alone. My impression of his guitar playing is something akin to Steve Howe studies classic late fifties and early sixties country western instrumentals with Spanish guitar added for colour and contrast, plus some eighties Steve Morse solo material.

"Strategies" is Munoz's CD contribution to the music world and it features Senior Munoz playing everything on guitar and guitar synthesizer except for the drums which are credited to Dioni. Please note that the album information on PA's album page is from Munoz's initial production and the version I have is the 2016 expanded album with a different track running order, additional tracks not listed on this album's page, and drums which apparently were added on for this second, more big time CD release. My first time through this offering of mostly instrumental music, I thought I was hearing synthesizers; however, a message exchange with Jesus informed me that all synthesizers are actually guitar synthesizers, which tells me that I don't know anything about guitar synthesizers.

The album's opening track, "When the Good Men Win", features plenty of guitar synthesizer and electric guitar. It's short and basically provides the album with a welcome mat for the listener. The real deal gets going on "Recovery", which is over 12 minutes of music moving from theme to theme. Don't be fooled by the eighties-like synthesizer sounds at the beginning. Munoz gives us twangly country western guitar themes, acoustic guitar, electric guitar in a Howe-inspired vein and lots of great melodies. There's some country fiddle and trumpet tastefully added. Synthesized of course, and for that, one may lament the absence of real instruments, but as nice touch nevertheless.

My personal favourite follows the mini-epic. "The Limpid Green" has a bouncy, catchy guitar melody and combines that classic country western sound with acoustic guitar and electric. By now you will notice that Munoz frequently employs a twangy clean electric guitar for rhythm and then plays over top with a lead acoustic or distorted lead electric. Often the two swap the spotlight back and forth in the same track. The title track follows with what sounds like clean electric guitar put through an old guitar amp from the fifties. Many years ago, I took guitar lessons from a friend's father, and I remember he brought over this massive crate of an amp. He let me borrow it for a couple of weeks and I especially loved playing with the reverb dial that made the guitar sound like it was being played in a long, empty community hall. "Strategies" opens with a similar guitar sound and quickly adds some excellent distorted electric lead. This track is also one to stick in my head and has a Steve Morse "Introduction" feel to it.

"Land of Glory" strangely enough reminds me of Odin of London, the first recording band of Colin Tench of Corvus Stone. It's the only track with vocals and sounds like a band from the seventies that had the musical talent but was still searching for a strong singer to take over the vocal duties. Munoz is the vocalist here and he's alright. But he does much better as a music composer and guitar player.

The next two tracks feature more great guitar playing, yet at this point I feel it's more of what we've already heard. Imagine going to an exhibition of unusual mineral formations and at first being breathless with each spectacular crystal cluster and then seeing two more clusters that were beautiful in their own way but still similar to what you already saw. "The Wrong Step" does sound a bit like an early eighties rock band combined with melodic country guitar, which is interesting.

Coming to the end, we have the remarkable "Rompecabezas", an acoustic guitar instrumental that easily stands out, and the closing track "Back to the Future", which is a very dramatic albeit short prog guitar piece that makes me think of a Steve Howe demo.

All in all, I think Jesus Munoz has done a superb job of recording his own album. I've listened to it four or five times through now and it's growing on me. Worth checking out for all the fabulous guitar work. The sound quality is very good though the attentive listener will notice that a hiss comes with each track and that hiss fades out at the end of each track. Not a big deal though as it doesn't detract from the excellent guitar playing and compositions.

The new CD cover is also much better with a moody weather scene over a country road.

Thanks to Ivan_Melgar_M for the artist addition.

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