Artie Traum - The Last Romantic


Some of you will certainly know Shanachie's "The Very Best Of Smooth Jazz Guitar" with artists like Ronnie Jordan, Lee Ritenour, Larry Carlton, Peter White, Larry Corryell, Chieli Minucci, Acoustic Alchemy, Chuck Loeb and more. On this collection one also finds Artie Traum's "Quiet Volcano", which was taken from his album "Letters From Joubee". His newest album from 2001 "The Last Romantic" was released by Narada. Narada means "gifted in music" and is the name of a mythical figure found in Hindu literature. Primarily, Narada produces contemporary instrumental music. Many Narada recordings are designated to the New Age sections in record stores. 

Narada defines New Age as followed: "The New Age genre in contemporary music can include a wide variety of musical styles and artists, ranging from relaxing acoustic guitar and piano, contemporary and straight-ahead jazz, ambient, experimental, avant-garde, rooted in sacred and folk traditions, and world music - including new flamenco, Celtic, Native American, Cajun, Cuban, African, Middle Eastern, Latin and more." 

In the past the center of Narada 's music was instrumental folk and world music. On Narada's sampler Narada Smooth Jazz for example you will only find folk music. Narada and its affiliated companies were purchased by EMI/Virgin Records America in 1997. Since a short time Narada has built up a special jazz section called "Narada Jazz" with such prolific artists as Keiko Matsui, Bob Baldwin, Ramsey Lewis, Warren Hill, Joyce Cooling, Jeff Lorber, Urban Knights, Scott Wilkie and Alex Bugnon.

Artie Traum is definetely an artist of folk music. Although his album "The View From Here" (Shanachie/1997) is after Artie's description "stylistically a commercial Smooth Jazz CD, with some vocal tunes, including Josh Colow singing "Amazon, River of Dreams," and Gabriela Anders singing Italian pop singer Pino Daniel's song "Allora Si," with Michael Franks adding backup parts." Artie is a master of the romantic acoustic guitar. If you like Peter White or Marc Antoine, you should listen to his albums.

A Day In Polizzi Generosa has some Italian feelings especially when Artie plays the mandolin in addition to his guitar. Polizzi Generosa is a small Italian town near by Palermo and this tune is a reminiscence of Artie's voyage to Sicily. 

The Two Rubys is a simple folk melody of timeless beauty. 

On Braziliana Artie plays steel string and acoustic guitars in a Brazilian mood accompanied by Steve Swallow (bass), Dean Sharp (percussion), Tom Mark (keyboards). The piece is kept in the style of Antonio Carlos Jobim, a famous Brazilian guitarist, one of Artie's models.

The Last Romantic is the slow dreamy title piece.

On High-String Mania Artie plays the high-strung W14c accompanied by Tony Levin on bass. A folkie fingerpicker.

The Blue Hotel is a warm contemplative melody with typical structures.

Against All Odds is more up tempo, music of the Appalachian.

Dune gets a darker tone by Dean Sharp's bass drum, which is setting rhythmical points. Now one can listen to a certain drifting to World Music.

On The Sun At Worldset Artie plays together with Frederic Hand (classical guitar). On this flawless piece a certain Flamenco influence is shining through.

Fjords Ahead has nothing in mind with Norwegian melodies, just another romantic tune.

Gingersnaps is a swinging waltz theme, on which Artie showcases anew his magical artistry. 

On Truro Warren Berhardt, a master of piano, joins Artie's guitar. Warren is better known by his contemporary jazz album. On this tune the slow melody is not interrupted by any improvisations. A piece of timeless romantic.

Salty Soup is certainly the only soup tasting sweet. A pure acoustic dream.

If you missed some jazz, listen to the last tune Empire Blues. Artie's first blues experience is connected with Big Bill Broonzy and Brownie McGhee, he heard with 13 years. Artie captures the spirit of these artists in his song.

Artie Traum's album "The Last Romantic" is indeed deeply romantic stuff. Artie is playing his guitars so effortless that only a guitar player can recognize the mastership of Artie Traum who continues the tradition of great guitarists to share their riffs, speed-licks, chord shapes and techniques with others.  

Further information

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