Moscow based musician Leonid Vorobyev has a band is Moscow that sounds more like Chicago than Chicago.
Leonid & Friends has somehow discovered the essence of 70s Chicago and wrapped it into a 16-piece Russian band. The sound is bold as brass.
Leonid Vorobyev is the leader and founder of the band Leonid & Friends. He is the band’s producer, plays bass and piano, sings lead and backing vocals, transcribes all the musical sources, and he produces, mixes, and masters all audio and video productions.
At his Facebook page Leonid says, “That was my crazy idea – 2014’ fall I’ve reached a pension age – (60 in Russia) but I didn’t retire from business, I just decided to make something special to celebrate the date”.
Leonid’s first Chicago cover was the Chicago VIII track ‘Brand New Love Affair (Part 1 & II).
That worked so then he covered ‘Make Me Smile’ from 1970’s ‘Chicago II’.
“When the first video (Brand New Love Affair) got so warm reception every participant told me – “let’s do the next one”. What have I gotten into? I said Okay, Make Me Smile is the next! Now we have seven songs finished and four more songs in progression. So it’s just started over,” Leonid says.
Since then the covers have grown with more Chicago…
… Chicago’s Feeling Stronger Every Day
Then they expanded it out to Earth, Wind & Fire and that sounded pretty bloody good as well.
Leonid & Friends is:
Leonid Vorobyev – vocal, synth, piano, bass, transcript of the musical source, producing, mixing, mastering
Vasily Akimov –vocal
Igor Javad-Zade – drums
Sergey Kashirin – guitar, vocal
Andrey Zyl – trumpet, flugelhorn
Maxim Likhachev – trombone
Alexandr Michurin – trombone
Konstantin Gorshkov – sax
Oleg Kudryavtsev – sax
Vladimir Osinsky – piano (special guest)
Vladimir Popov – flute, sax, percussion
Serge Tiagniryadno (Kiev, Ukraine) – vocal, guitar
Vlad Senchillo – keybords, backing-vocal
Ksenia Buzina – backing-vocal
Dmitry Maximov – ex-bass
Alexey Batychenko – ex-trumpet & flugelhorn
“Chicago has never been in Russia and none of us have attended their concerts,” said Leonid told journalist Scott Schwebke. “We have only audio records and videos (to help us learn Chicago songs).”
Leonid & Friends have released their Chicago covers album ‘Chicagovich’. Check it out on Spotify.