Here is a 1-hour collection of some songs recorded live in a studio by Leonid & Friends. The story:
Five years ago a Russian named Leonid Vorobyev was retiring from his job as a choral director and decided to try — as a retirement gift to himself — to record a song from his favorite American band, Chicago. He knew some of the very best musicians in Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, and Belarus. The problem was, he only had some recordings from Chicago and none of the charts or scores. So he painstakingly transcribed the music for all of the instruments and brought his musician friends to Moscow to record a song. The live recording was captured on video, uploaded to YouTube — and was so good it went viral.
Requests for more recordings poured in from all over the world, so Leonid & Friends was born. Today the group has recorded two albums covering songs from Chicago and a couple from Blood, Sweat & Tears and Earth, Wind & Fire. And they’ve been touring the U.S. to sellout crowds.
In 2019 I attended their concert in LA and I met all the band members. They don’t all speak English, but when they play they sound very much like the real thing. And do they love performing!
For me there’s something uplifting in the way music can bring people together. Leonid has made it clear that he has absolutely no political agenda. He simply loves to honor great musicians and great music.
The songs above are, in order: Beginnings, Introduction, 25 or 6 to 4, Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?, You Are on My Mind, Free, Spinning Wheel, Saturday in the Park, I’m A Man, September, Life Saver, Make Me Smile, and Hard to Say I’m Sorry.
Peter the Grateful