International Press

LEON MUHUDINOV - "Tasty Guitar Treats" Leon Muhudinov is a guitarist and composer based in the New Jersey/NYC area. His musical repertoire is stylistically eclectic, including Romantic Classical Guitar, World Music, New Age, Ethnic Fusion, Psychedelic, Progressive, and musical scores for films and TV. Muhudinov’s versatility has led him to collaborate in many studio recordings. He is an active advocate for humanitarian causes, and helps to bring people’s attention to issues like animal rights and environmental problems. Leon Muhudinov is also a passionate guitar teacher, and keeps a busy schedule in Bergen County, NJ. Since 2003, Muhudinov has been an active performer, also venturing on a solo career. His musical themes are inspired on eccentric, idiosyncratic characters and ideologies, mysticism, enlightening discoveries, the struggle to tread on difficult paths, and living in harmony with nature. Muhudinov’s first independent album was titled “Tasty Guitar Treats” (2003), on which he played alone. He later formed Adventures of Leonid, an instrumental group with a non-fixed line-up. They released one album, “Adventures of Leonid” (2005, Mad Hands Records), which featured “Mad Mike Cullens” (drummer of “Chuck Berry”, “Mick Taylor”), and music combining elements of Rock, Classical, Funk, Surf Rock, and Eastern melodies. In 2011, Muhudinov composed a segment for the series “Project Oliver”, directed by “Andy Cockrum”, which intended to raise funds for building a sanctuary for apes rescued from laboratory testing. He also was selected by “Roger Taylor” (“Queen”) as a semi-finalist for the “Extravaganza Tour”. Muhudinov and Adventures of Leonid recorded a cover of the song “I’m the One”, that was included on the “Van Halen” Tribute album, “Take Your Whiskey Home: A Millennium Tribute to Van Halen 1977-1984” (2012, Versailles Records). This CD also featured Rockers “Jeff Scott Soto”, “Vinnie Appice”, “Jake E. Lee”, “Jimmy Crespo”, and “Rowan Robertson”. Muhudinov also released three digital singles: “Romance Anonimo” (2011), “Debussy: Suite Bergamasque L75: III, Clair De Lune” (2013), and “America the Beautiful” (2013). He is currently working in the “Combo Combo” duo, and has performed on “Guitar Wizards” (2015, Versailles) – a compilation featuring members of “Aerosmith”, “Whitesnake”, and “Guns N' Roses”. Muhudinov’s album on focus here is the physical version of his solo CD, “Tasty Guitar Treats” (2003). On this record, Leon Muhudinov is the sole performer, playing the acoustic and electric guitars, and a few passages of bass and percussion. Muhudinov is a really talented and accomplished guitarist. His technique is clean and precise, and he feels comfortable playing scholar-styled, classical acoustic music and modern, electrified jazz-pop pieces alike. The key words to define his style may be: eclecticism, elegancy, softness, and sensitiveness. And, although Muhudinov always delivers his music accompanied by a gentle, soothing, and relaxing mood, he is also able to cloak his strings with an aura of mystery and seduction. “Tasty Guitar Treats” has nine instrumental tracks. The first five belong to an assorted repertoire that includes two Romantic Classical pieces and three versions of famous Ragtime, Rock, and Jazz standards. The last four tracks are original compositions written by Muhudinov. The album starts with “Natalia Vals Venezolano No. 3” (2:40) – a magnificent and heartfelt rendition of “Antonio Lauro’s” piece; later followed by a jovial and spirited version of “Cajita de Musica” (2:05), by “Francisco Tárrega”. Those pieces are executed by Muhudinov with skill and mastery. In between them, he performs a calm and sensitive version of “Eleanor Rigby” (3:10), by “The Beatles”, mixing acoustic sounds of strings with crystal-clean notes that come from his electric guitar. Additional lines of electric guitar are employed in combination with bass and percussion on a vivid version of “Caravan” (3:01), by “Duke Ellington & Juan Tizol”. Finally comes “The Entertainer” (2:00), a Ragtime classic composed for piano by “Scott Joplin”, and re-arranged for acoustic guitar by “Chet Atkins”. On Muhudinov’s hands, this piece retains all the joyful and provincial mood of an innocent Musical Era. “Floating Funk” (3:41) is the first of Muhudinov’s compositions to appear on the CD. “Floating …” swings to the funky sound of electrified guitars, bass, and drums; but the last three tracks are performed only on the acoustic guitar, and invite the listener to enter a world of soft chords, gentle plucking, and introspective feelings, that converge to create a kind of inspiring music. If the Classical “The Color of Travel” (2:23) elevates the soul with its scholar style, it is “Nostalgia Waltz” (4:43) that brings peace of mind with its romantic, nostalgic mood. And the long-lasting “Life” (11:11) – only available on the physical CD – is a true masterpiece: a nuanced and transcendental piece that reverberates against a New-Age background, instilled with a profoundly spiritual nature. This beautiful album by Leon Muhudinov is a rewarding surprise in the Instrumental Music scene, and I shall strongly recommend it for fans of Acoustic Guitar, as played by “Gordon Giltrap”, “Steve Hackett”, “Steve Howe”, “Ritchie Blackmore”, “Al Di Meola”, “Paco de Lucía”, “Yamandu Costa”, “The Ventures”, “California Guitar Trio”, “Sam Coulson”, and so on. Band members and collaborators involved in Leon Muhudinov are: Leon Muhudinov – Guitars, Arrangements, Compositions; except: “Natalia” (“Antonio Lauro”); “Cajita de Musica” (“Francisco Tárrega”); “Eleanor Rigby” (“John Lennon & Paul McCartney”); “Caravan” (“Duke Ellington & Juan Tizol”); “The Entertainer” (“Scott Joplin”, arranged by “Chet Atkins”). Produced by L. Muhudinov & Harry Liang. Recorded by H. Liang at Tera Studios, Paramus, NJ; Mixed & Mastered by Tony Van Hoorn at Granite Alps Studios, Wayne, NJ (except “Eleanor …”, Mixed & Mastered by J. Liang)... (Comments by Marcelo Trotta)” - Marcelo Trotta

Progressive Rock & Progressive Metal (BRAZIL)

Want an eclectic, ultra-unique instrumental guitar record for the upcoming summer? Well Leonid Salvaje is back with something special for your listening pleasure with the Adventures of Leonid and the Daydreamers. Right from the start of "Overture: Forbidden" you wonder what the hell is going on as a '70s science fiction movie soundtrack seems to be playing in your cd changer. On that very same song, the tempo comes to a complete halt and the most precious of acoustic guitar pieces is inserted. A few minutes later on the same cut this maniac is playing a killer progressive metal guitar rhythm and lead piece. The next cut appropriately titled "Hallucinations" is jazz-fusion rock guitar and is also heavily weighted towards the bass guitar and drums. Salvaje tears up a really funky guitar lead as well with more distortion than a '70s VHF channel. Speaking of distortion, the middle of "Ghost Town" has hi-fidelity record player static as well as several types of music, ranging from Hawaiian to funk. Next up is the speedy track "Run" which features some killer drumming from Mike Cullens as well as Leon's rapid fender stratocaster guitar work... This is a fun diverse cd that is certainly worth the purchase for anyone that enjoys something different in the realm of instrumental guitar albums.” - Matthew Hoffman

Hardrock Haven (USA)

Guitar trip into the unknown of the great wide open. Not afraid to touch and embellish classic material from the likes of The Fabs and Duke Ellington on his 2003's debut, "Tasty Guitar Lines", this time New Jersey resident Leonid Muhudinov walks his own way with a variety of stringed instruments on his back. Running in with a streamline rock 'n' roll with Beethoven lurking in the shadows, there's a filigree technique on display with no sign of showing off, especially when electricity breaks down into acoustic reverie. But if jazz, country and classical guitar pieces can be expected from the master, the jangly twangy beat of "Ghost Town" comes on as delicious surprise: Hank Marvin has never been so cimenatic - and there's more to the composition, much more! And there's much humor in here, be it Hendrix-cum-Hazel-Hackett transmutations in "Funky Bitch", lush but playful guitar pile-up in "Leonid's Return" or electric sitar of "Samadhi". Highly enjoyable record of rare elegance. *****” - Dmitry M. Epstein

DME Music Site (ISRAEL)

instrumental guitar music with instrumental prog rock beck, vai, mogwai, anastasio, rush, queen ”
...What makes of Leonid a cooler cat than those guys is his eclecticism. The tracks included here variate in shade, hue, heaviness and level of exposition; he seems destined to switch moods because that’s his mission. He can play the guitar, but can he hold out attention? This stuff says Yes, and that’s more than most guitar albums can sound off with a straight-note.” - Hansel Merchor

I'm walking along a paved path in the small town of Krumovgrad, Bulgaria. On one side there are patches of fields owned by the townspeople. Now in this beginning Spring they are preparing the soil for the tobacco harvest. In unused land where the soil has turned into dust shepards are relaxing nice while their cows and sheep feed on grass and chill out. Beyond these flat lands there are rising and dipping valleys made of pine trees and rock. I usually walk this way with a friend or in navigation alone with my imagination. Adventure can happen anywhere, anytime, under any circumstances. This afternoon I took the beaten path of a new journey with my lovely friend Leonid. Listening to this album in junction with the motion of my steps I felt like a solo-nomad encountering scenarios the quntessential adventurer always encounters. The styles of Leonid's adventure develop throughout the album as elevations of charged electric riffs and durations of soft acoustic melodies. There is a story captured in musical moods of an adventurer experiencing the revelations, dangers, and triumph of adventuring. In the overture we are introduced to the soaring of an unhindered electric guitar, which represents Flying Leonid. In mid-flight he approaches the easy, slow, acoustic tune of a stranger, then flies off into his own space again. Next Leonid is clearly hallucinating as he slows the tempo of his mighty electrical weapon to the steady, funky beat of bass guitar. Before he has time to come to his senses he is thrust into a Ghost Town, where the inhabitants are trying to entice him into their blending of keyboard sounds. And thus proceeds the adventure of Leonid, confronting the musical elements of his world with the assured powers he wields in his electrical beast: the second half of the album is influenced by eastern traditions, so we know how far this adventure streches. The varied experimentation and delivery of the album is wonderfully unpredictable, evokes a multitude of moods for a mulitude of experiences, like any adventure should” - Gokhan Balaban

— (BULGARIA) intriguing CD from an aspiring artist worthy of some well-earned name recognition.”

20th Century Guitar Magazine (USA)