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Bob Arthurs/Steve LaMattina   Jazz for Svetlana


Jazz for Svetlana is a duo record of mainly standards and a few originals by trumpeter Bob Arthurs and guitarist Steve LaMattina.  Although both men have a ten-year history of playing with one another this is their first record together.  The interplay and finesse between two musicians is very special.  These are two very, very skilled musicians that play with a lot of class.  Arthurs' trumpet sound is exquisite and his soloing is equally astounding.  As a guitarist I can really appreciate the difficulty to accompany a horn player in a duo setting.  Steve LaMattina makes it appear effortless, switching between walking bass lines, chordal accompaniment, and single note soloing.  One of the most impressive things on the album is the 'time' the duo has; it's nearly perfect, even when Steve is soloing on the guitar by himself.  In addition to both incredible players, Arthurs displays his singing voice on several tracks throughout the album.  His voice is beautiful.  (I only wish he sang on more songs!)  Both men have performed and studied with some of the greatest jazz musicians in the world and it shows.  Jazz for Svetlana is a fabulous recording!      Brandon Bernstein.

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    Jazz for Svetlana

    the new CD by Bob Arthurs and Steve Lamattina

    The story of how this album came to be is one of those exquisitely tender tales of love—a man's love of his wife who loves jazz. Bob Arthurs himself gives the account in his own words.

    "The making of our new album, 'Jazz for Svetlana,' was a labor of love. The guitarist Steve LaMattina and I have been playing together off and on for about ten years. Our good friend Svetlana, who is a wonderful classical pianist, really loved hearing Steve and I play as a duo. She also kept telling her husband Yuri how much she loved our music. Yuri decided to give her a very special birthday present. He called me one day and said that he would like to produce a duo album of Steve and myself. All he wanted out of it was the first CD to give to Svetlana for her birthday. After that he said we could promote and sell the album wherever and however we wanted. So here we are. The CD has been well received by everyone who got an advance copy. It was a pleasure to record, and I’m happy to say that Svetlana loved her birthday present."

    What a splendid introduction to the album. Having heard that story, I was prepared for the party. The intimate interplay between trumpet and guitar was suitable for a live performance in Yuri and Svetlana’s living room. This was the image that accompanied me into my first hearing of the CD.

    Bob Arthurs brings over 40 years of musical experience into the duet having played with so many jazz greats like Lee Konitz, Warne Marsh, Sal Mosca, Larry Coryell, Bucky Pizzarelli, Tal Farlow and so many more. Steve Lamattina is a seasoned performer and music educator himself and the chemistry between them is solid and fluid in coexistence.

    There are nine songs on the album with two of them penned by Bob Arthurs himself. It is a charming collection of tunes from Irving Berlin to Jackie Gleason to Dizzy Gillespie and the performance of those pieces in trumpet and guitar duet is a great treat under Bob and Steve’s charming treatment.

    Another treat is that this CD marks the singing debut of Bob Arthurs. It follows after “How Deep is the Ocean” by Irving Berlin and the first track wherein Bob sings is the Marks and Simons classic “All of Me.”

    His vocal delivery is relaxed, unrestrained and gentle. It certainly must have been thought of as words from Yuri to Svetlana and was essential to an album made possible by one man’s adoration of his wife.

    Dizzy Gillepsie’s “Night in Tunisia” is on everyone’s short list of jazz favorites and Bob and Steve add their own magic to the mythical number. Bob’s delivery is swinging and sharp.

    Steve Lamattina is brilliant at accompanying with cool understrokes to Bob’s trumpet. He also provides fluid solos that go from whimsy to charm and his technical skills are refined and refreshing. He has a sweet talent for underscoring without undercutting.

    Bob and Steve have been performing together for over ten years and their comfort level with each other is exceedingly clear in the movement between them. It is also evidenced in the number of single takes required during the recording.

    The inclusion of old favorites is like a couple in love walking familiar lanes, reliving the memories, while Bob’s original numbers provide sights not seen on previous walks. If love is a gift for the giver and the receiver, it is certainly a gift to those of us who simply get to witness it.

    Purchase this CD at: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/bobarthurs

    Something Else


    Bob Arthurs and Steve LaMattina – Jazz for Svetlana (2013)



    Perhaps the best birthday present a woman named Svetlana has ever received, Jazz for Svetlana is what happens when two musicians gather to lay something down without expectations.  Featuring trumpeter Bob Arthurs and guitarist Steve LaMattina, this disc found its start as a birthday gift for producer Yuri Gorokhovich’s wife. A big fan of the two musicians, Svetlana apparently really dug the idea of putting them in a duo setting without any accompanying rhythm. Gorokhovich gave the first CD to his wife, who loved it, and left the rest up to LaMattina and Arthurs promote and sell as they wished. And to think, all I got for my last birthday was a lousy gift card …

    Jazz for Svetlana captures the impulse and one-take bliss that can come when two fine players get together. It also features some risk-taking, namely in the form of Arthurs’ singing, and moves malleably through a good mix of originals and well-known tunes. Arthurs’ trumpet-playing comes ensconced in 40 years of experience. He’s worked with the likes of Lee Konitz, Warren Vache, Chuck Wayne, and Warne Marsh. He’s also the founding member of the Tristan Quartet, whose Notes from the Underground is out now on Zinnia Records. LaMattina is a confident guitar player and protégé of Barry Galbraith. He is planted firmly in the New York scene and has a few CDs under his belt, including Cocktails for Three featuring Carmen Leggio.

    Together, Arthurs and LaMattina draw on their respective backgrounds but come together in confident conversation. The trumpeter’s bold, colourful lines draw pieces like Dizzy Gillespie’s “Night in Tunisia” into full blush, while LaMattina is responsible for accompaniment, rhythmic forces and lithe soloing.

    Two original pieces by Arthurs show his depth as a composer, with the head-swaying “Lonnie’s Blues” probing deep with a stripped-down, clever groove. The patience of the players is also striking, with the temptation to overstuff the yarn resisted in favor of lean brass and velvety plucking. Jazz for Svetlana closes on a fun note with “Sweet Georgia Brown,” a cheeky piece of work detailed by a very busy LaMattina and Arthurs’ strutting, confident lines.

    This is a unique recording, a birthday present for the ages that features the work of two confident, intuitive players. LaMattina and Arthurs have given Svetlana something special. Thank goodness she’s willing to share.

    Downbeat Magazine

    Jazz for Svetlana, 3 Stars from Downbeat

    There should be a special category for recordings made without artifice or pretense; music created strictly for the fun of sharing the moment.  Jazz for Svetlana features nine duets between veteran trumpeter Bob Arthurs and guitarist Steve LaMattina.  It's an unvarnished document of two journeymen expressing themselves on familiar tunes--particularly Arthurs' thin vocals on two pieces.  The joy they trade is palpable, and while they journey on well-worn ground, they take on the material with verve.       James Hale  

    Jazz Kvadrat

    Bob Arthurs / Steve Lamattina - Jazz for Svetlana

    Bob Arthurs / Steve Lamattina - Jazz for Svetlana
    История этого альбома более, чем необычна и достойна того, чтобы рассказать о ней поподробнее. Я, во всяком случае, встречаюсь с такой историей впервые. Итак, живет в Америке пианистка Светлана Горохович. Академическое образование она получила в родной Казани, в на рубеже 90-х годов эмигрировала в США, где ее профессиональная карьера сложилась вполне удачно – Светлана стала лауреатом ряда престижных конкурсов. Но не классикой единой – Светлана с удовольствием слушала и джаз, в частности в исполнении своих американских друзей: трубача Боба Артурса и гитариста Стиви Ламаттины. О том, как они здорово играют, Светлана часто рассказывала и мужу Юрию. И вот, в один прекрасный день, Юрий Горохович позвонил Бобу Артурсу и предложил… записать альбом в качестве подарка его жене ко дню рождения. Так родился альбом Jazz for Svetlana, созданный Бобом и Стиви и спродюсированный Юрием Гороховичем.

    Сразу надо сказать, что оба участника проекта – музыканты весьма опытные. Артурс – известный трубач и педагог, он играл с такими людьми, как Ли Конитц, Лэрри Кориелл или Баки Пиццарелли. Ламаттина хотя и моложе своего партнера, но также имеет за плечами уже солидную карьеру и как музыкант, и как педагог. У меня было опасение, что «подарочный» альбом будет представлять из себя нечто гладенькое и сладенькое, в духе не лучших образцов smooth-джаза. Но, к счастью, стоило поставить диск, как опасения развеялись. В весьма не тривиальном по составу дуэте – труба и гитара – Боб и Стиви записали истинно джазовую программу, в которой есть пульс, есть импровизация, есть настроение: добротный и прекрасно исполненный мэйнстрим.

    Программу альбома составили известные стандарты Ирвина Берлина (How Deep Is the Ocean), Диззи Гиллеспи (Birk's Works и A Night in Tunisia),Джеки Глисона (Melancholy Serenade – аранжированная в блюзовом ключе, эта композиция, на мой взгляд, стала вершиной альбома), а также некоторые другие известные пьесы. Две собственные композиции Боба Артурса, Lonnie's Blues и Stellar Probe, отлично вписались в общую концепцию альбома. В двух композициях Артурс еще и поет, но, на мой вкус, на трубе у него получается значительно лучше… Впрочем, с другой стороны, такой «домашний» вокал Боба только подчеркивает интимный, сугубо личный характер подарка, который подготовили Светлане ее друзья и ее муж. Такие подарки получает не каждая, тут есть чем гордиться и, слушая Jazz for Svetlana, можно только удивляться силе любви, человеческой фантазии и замечательной музыке под названием джаз, которая способна превращаться в такой удивительный сюрприз ко дню рождения.

    © 2013 Bob Arthurs
    9 tks / 52 mins
    (Bob Arthurs – tp, voc; Steve Lamattina – g;)
    Диск предоставлен Jazz Promo Services

    Леонид Аускерн

    Leonid Auskern
    Jazz Weekly

    RINGER OF THE WEEK****Bob Arthurs & Steve Lamattina: Jazz For Svetlana

    February 7, 2013

    Here is the most unassuming of sessions, and yet it works amazingly well. Trumpeter Bob Arthurs is a teacher at the Music Conservatory of Westchester, having played with guys like Coryell, Farlow, Marsh and Konitz. Mattina is a fellow faculty member as well, having been under the tutelage of Barry Galbraith. The tunes selected are some blues, basic standards and bop tunes, and the mood is a cozy as a pair of fuzzy slippers. Arthurs sings like an old soul on “All Of Me” and “I Thought About You,” but besides that, it’s just a matter of him playing the melody to perfection, delivering a chorus or two of a relaxed but impressive solo, and letting Lamattina fill the room with his elegant string work.

    Arthurs’ horn is clean, clear, calm, concise and consistently swinging, as on a hip “Night in Tunisia,’ while Lamattina delivers some impressive fretwork on “Birk’s Works” and “Lonnie’s Blues.” It’s not a matter of chops here, but telling a story, and these guys tell them like Hans Christian Anderson. This will make you fall in love with music again.


    Vintage Guitar Magazine


    Vintage Guitar Hit List:  Bob Arthurs & Steve Lamattina 


    Jazz for Svetlana



     Duet records featuring guitar and horn have a long and varied history.  Bucky Pizzarelli recorded a couple of brilliant records with saxophonist ZootSims. Joe Pass also cut one with Sims.  There are lots of good duet discs down through time, and this one between two veteran players should be added to the list.  The setlist is made up of standards, except for two Arthurs originals.  Several of the cuts contain Arthurs’ vocals along with his beautiful trumpet playing.  They all feature Lamattina on guitar.  Perhaps unknown to many listeners, he’s been a teacher and performer in the New York area for more than 30 years and is as complete a player as you’ll hear. His swinging, voice-leading rhythm guitar propels most cuts including interesting takes on old chestnuts like “All Of Me” and “Sweet Georgia Brown,” which could be dull and boring in lesser hands.  Lamattina truly swings when he takes a solo, which usually ends up being a mix of chords and single lines.  He never loses the familiar melodies of any of the tunes and keeps things moving beautifully. His accompaniment during Arthurs’ solos is perfect, never getting in the soloist’s way.  The album was recorded as a gift for their pianist friend Svetlana, as commissioned by her husband for her birthday.  Both Lamattina and Arthurs play with such effortless soul and swing that you’ll wish they’d send a birthday gift your way, too. – JH

    Cadence Magazine

    Notes From the Underground CD

    "...fantastic synthesis of spare, articulate lines, supple lyricism and masterful technique, with a concentrated approach that sounds thoughtful without being overly cerebral.  In an ideal world, a player of Arthurs' caliber wouldn't be overlooked."     Jon Morgan, Cadence Magazine

    Jazz Page (Japan)

    Jazz for Svetlana / BOB ARTHURS / STEVE LAMATTINA [海外盤]
    ニューヨークで活動しているトランペッターのボブ・アーサーズとギターのスティーヴ・ラマッティナのデュオ・アルバム。彼らの熱心なファンであるスヴェトラーナへプレゼントしたプライベート録音を一般発売したもの。アーサーズとラマッティナは約10年間一緒にプレイしてきたこともあり、濃密なコラボレーションを聴かせてくれる。アーサーズは、プロ活動40年のベテランでベルギー、オランダ、ロシアのみならず日本へもツアーしたことがありリー・コニッツ、ウォーレン・ヴァッシェ、ラリー・コレイエルなどとも共演して来たベテラン。ラマッティナもテナーのテッド・ブラウンのトリオでSteeple Chase レーベルからアルバムをリリースするなど実力派だ。本作は、スタンダードにアーサーズのオリジナルを加えた演奏でメロディアスなアドリブの移ろいが心地よい。アーサーズのシンプルで繊細なトランペット・プレイと渋いボーカルはチェット・ベイカーを想わせる。”All of Me”はトランペットとギターの絡みもスリリングでベスト・トラック。会心作。

    Translation:  This is a duo album of Guitarist Steve LaMatina and trumpeter Bob Arthurs. They have been playing in New York.  This CD was originally a private recording that was given to Svetlana, who is their fan.  It is now for sale to the public.  Arthurs and LaMattina have been playing together for about ten years, and they collaborate wonderfully.  Listen.  Arthurs career spans over 40 years as a professional musician.  He has toured in Belgium, the Netherlands, Russia and Japan. He has played with Lee Konitz, Warren Vache, Larry Coryell, among many others.  LaMattina has also released a CD with the Ted Brown Trio on the Steeple Chase label.  This CD creates a comfortable atmosphere because Arthurs improvises on his original tunes and standards with melodious and sensitive feeling.  His trumpet playing is simple, and delicate and his natural vocal style reminds us of Chet Baker.  The combination of a trumpet and a guitar is also thrilling, and "All of Me" is the best track .  Great Album.

    Amazon (mp3 music)

    Jazz for Svetlana CD

    Who would imagine that the duo of a trumpet and a guitar could make satisfying jazz?  Well listen to this duo of Bob Arthurs, trumpet and vocals, and Steve LaMattina, guitar, and put doubt aside...Both musicians are superb and their performances here are first class.  Bob Arthurs varies on the songs between singing with his trumpet and singing with his voice, and he is exceptional in both modes.  LaMattina is solid throughout and could easily be considered the soloist in passages where he is bare.  This is unexpectedly fine music in a gentle but highly sophisticated sound and style...The music is technically perfect, but more importantly, it is from the heart - warmly lyrical, like a birthday gift!     Grady Harp, Hall of Fame Reviewer, Amazon (mp3 music)

    Folk & Accoustic Music Exchange

    Jazz for Svetlana CD

    I mentioned in another review this month that the piano/voice duet is one of the most difficult in music.  Both sides of the binary equation have to be perfect to succeed.  Well, in Bob Arthurs and Steve LaMattina's Jazz for Svetlana, we have another disc of just duet music, trumpet and guitar (with a few vocals), and I needn't repeat my earlier assertion too loudly: this is not a pairing often heard, and for good reason...it's tough to maintain a balance.  Yet these guys do it admirably, and the key is not only Bob Arthurs' taking the brassy horn down a few notches, but also his sensitivity to the narative lines of each song as well as a care not to smother LaMattina's recessed but evocative rhythm/lead work.

    Residing somewhere in a zone bridging Burrell, Beck, and Byrd (not to mention a bit of Szabo) LaMattina has no choice but to capture the rhythm section but does so precisely in a manner exposing the widest latitude of expression.  The swing-bop quitarists were extraordinarily intelligent cats when it came to such things, and LaMattina, first a protege of the esteemed Barry Galbraith and later a member of Galbraith's jazz guitar ensemble, makes every note and chord count, nothing wasted, nothing over- or mis-emphasized.  When Arthurs steps back for Steve to insert a lead, it erupts straight from his rhythm structures and then fades just as readily right back into them.

    Arthurs also sings, and I swear to God I get a Sopranos vibe when I listen to his voice, the kind of guy you'd hear singing for an Italian wedding at a mob restaurant in Brooklyn: down home, familiar, and mellowed by a snifter or two of brandy.  His trumpet playing's straight ahead but recalls old country refrains and niceties (the Italian vibe again) as well as a mixture of Herb Albert, early Miles, and maybe a touch of Maynard, whenever that wildman managed to hold himself somewhat in check.  I suspect, though, that the earthy purity in his tone is what appealed to Svetlana, a classical pianist for whom the CD was recorded...And when I say "purity", I'm not speaking of a Wynton Marsalis presence nor even a Herb Alpert mode but rather the exact kinda thing a working guy wants to hear after a hard day at work, relaxing into the selections, drinking them down like a good wine just before dinner, that kind of purity.     Mark S. Tucker


    CD Review: /http://blogcritics.org/music/article/music-review-bob-arthurs-and-steve


    The story behind Jazz for Svetlana, the duo album from trumpeter Bob Arthurs and guitarist Steve Lamattina, is kind of romantic. Arthurs and Lamattina have been playing together for some 10 years, and as Arthurs tells it, Svetlana Gorokhovich, a classical pianist in her own right, loved listening to them play as a duo. She kept telling her husband Yuri how wonderful their music was, and one day Yuri calls and announces that he would like to produce a duo album as a gift for Svetlana's birthday. Jazz for Svetlana is the result.

    There aren't too many albums jazz or otherwise that feature a trumpet and guitar duo, and it is easy to understand why. One can imagine how quickly the trumpet could overpower the guitar. It is to the credit of both of these outstanding musicians that they do not let that happen. Their work together is more interested in the totality of their sound than in individual pyrotechnics. They complement each other admirably. It is easy to understand why Svetlana so admired their work. The album says a lot for unusual combinations, at least unusual combinations in the right hands.

    The album's nine tracks offer a nice selection of tunes from the Great American Songbook, a jazz classic or two and a couple of Arthurs' originals. It opens with Irving Berlin's "How Deep Is the Ocean." The sweet tones of the trumpet are matched by the sensitivity of the guitar work. This is followed by the classic "All of Me" with the first of two vocals from Arthurs. He has a pleasant voice and adds some interesting phrasing, but my own preference is for his trumpet playing. The other vocal is on the lesser known Van Heusen-Mercer classic tune, "I Thought About You."

    They do two Dizzy Gillespie compositions—"Birk's Works" and a really nice romp through "A Night in Tunisia." This last one has some swinging guitar work from Lamattina. "Lonnie's Blues," another swinger, and "Stellar Probe" are the two Arthurs originals. Both showcase the duo's compatibility and are among the album's highlights. They end with a bluesy version of "Melancholy Serenade" and a hot take on "Sweet Georgia Brown."

    Lamattina and Arthurs may not be household names, but they sure can play. While Jazz for Svetlana may have begun as a present for one fan, it turns out it's a real gift for all of us fans of fine jazz played with sensitivity and passion.".


    Jazz for Svetlana CD

    Let us cut to the chase...Will Bob Arthurs get the Grammy for Best Male Vocalist? No. Does he need to or better still want to? I would go all (out) in (this and say) his answer is no. Instead, the raw energy and honest emotion from Arthurs takes classics like the Van Heusen & Mercer standard I Thought About You and elevates these tunes to a more human touch that has previously been attempted before.

    Jazz for Svetlana is a duo release with guitarsist Steve Lamattina. While the official release date is not till 01/22/13, and having seen the release samples available on CD Baby I thought this may be one of those special releases some of you might like to calendar in case advance ordering has not yet kicked in. Music is a gift with jazz certainly no exception. The neat story behind this recording is that classical pianist Svetlana Gorokhovich was so taken with this duet of Arthurs on trumpet/vocals and Lamattina on guitar that her husband asked to produce the release then relinquishing the rights and abilities for Arthurs and Lamattina to market and sell the recording as they say fit. Perhaps Svetlana was so taken with the raw honesty of passion that seems to exude from this release. Nothing pretentious, nothing self absorbed and nothing to push the passive listener into the sonic abysses of the overly cerebral.

    Essentially a standards release but with some incredibly tasty reharms including but not limited to How Deep Is The Ocean, All Of Me and Sweet Georgia Brown. This is old school at it's finest yet somehow kicked up a notch. By the way, Svetlana loved her birthday present and another interesting side bar is that all takes were done but once so as to keep the spontaneity of a live performance and the most organic of sound. Bob Arthurs and Steve Lamattina have performed in various incarnations together for over a decade and it shows.

    Not many critics would afford you the opportunity to sample a new release. I'm not here to "sell" records but instead offer you the tools you may need to make an informed buying purchase. Taste is always subjective but talent and especially here will always triumph in the end!

    Tracks: How Deep Is The Ocean; All Of Me; Birk's Works; I Thought About You; Night In Tunisia; Lonnie's Blues; Stellar Probe; Melancholy Baby; Sweet Georgia Brown.

    Personnel: Bob Arthurs: vocals, trumpet; Steve Lamattina: guitar.


    Muzic Zoom (Italian)

    Jazz for Svetlana CD

    Un duo piuttosto inusuale, quello costituito dal trombettista Bob Arthurs, qui pure cantante su un paio di titoli, ed il chitarrista Steve Lamattina. Si conoscono da anni ma non avevano mai avuto l´idea di incidere insieme. La loro musica e l´interpretazione così intimistica degli standards era apprezzata da una pianista classica di nome Svetlana e ad un concerto dei due il marito Yuri Gorokhovich ebbe l´ebbe l´idea di regalarle un´incisione per il compleanno. Portò i due ai River Works Studios e da lì l´incisione piacque così tanto che decise di farne un disco. In effetti i due suonano alla grande e quello che hanno inciso in studio merita di uscire da quella che era stata un´idea in privato. Sono due musicisti piuttosto esperti che hanno inciso in diverse formazioni, specie il trombettista, che ha lavorato con gente come Lee Konitz, Warne Marsh, Sal Mosca, Ted Brown. Ma anche Steve Lamattina è attivo, oltre che come insegnante, anche negli studi di incisione e nei club. Di recente ha inciso per la famosa casa discografica danese Steeplechase insieme al sassofonista tenore Ted Brown ed al contrabbassista Dennis Irwin. Fra i famosi brani c´è pure una Melancholy Serenade che sembra uscita da un film italiano di qualche famoso regista dei decenni passati. Il resto è gobilissimo e mostra il linguaggio del jazz dal suo lato più intimistico, sincero senza pensare troppo al consenso del pubblico al di fuori dei club. In qualche modo speciale, l´incisione è di quella che getta sull´ascoltatore una rete di seduzione e non lo molla più.

    Translation:  This is quite an unusual duo.  The trumpet player bob Arthurs, who also sings on a couple of tracks, and the guitarist Steve LaMattina, have know each other for many years but have never recorded together.  Their music and their style of playing was much appreciated by their friend Svetlana, a classical pianist.  She often told her husband how much she enjoyed their playing.  He decided to produce a CD featuring the duo at the River Works Studio as a surprise birthday present for his wife.  They liked the recording so much they decided to release it.  Indeed, the two musicians play superbly, and what they recorded privately deserved to be taken out to the public.  They are quite expert and have recorded in various combinations.  The trumpet player has played with musicians such as Lee Konitz, Warne Marsh, Sal Mosca, and Ted Brown.  Steve LaMattina is very active and beside being a teacher has recorded in many clubs and studios.  Recently he recorded with saxophonist Ted Brown and bassist Dennis Irwin on the famous Danish Steeplechase recording label. Among the well-known standards there is also Melancholy Serenade which reminds one of having been derived from an Italian film of a famous director of ten years ago. The rest is lovely (music) and it demonstrates a jazz language in its most intimate state; sincere without worrying about public approval outside the club. In some special way the recording is such that it casts out a seductive net that it never surrenders.

    This is Book's Music

    REVIEW: Bob Arthurs & Steve Lamattina’s “Jazz For Svetlana”

    Published November 25th, 2012 at 4:17 pm in Music Reviews with 1 comments
    Tagged with Bob Arthurs, jazz, Steve Lamattina

    Bob ArthursTwo musicians in a room, playing music together for the sake of playing music: that’s Jazz For Svetlana (self-released), the new album by trumpeter Bob Arthurs and guitarist Steve Lamattina. It’s just a casual jam together as they go through versions of “How Deep Is The Ocean”, “Birk’s Works”, “I Thought About You”, “A Night In Tunisia”, “Melancholy Serenade”, and “Sweet Georgia Brown”, and while the ear may expect to hear more accompaniment or even applause, that “lack of” something is what will bring people deeper into the music and playing involved, at least it did for me.

    Arthurs and Lamattina can swing when they want to, as they do in “All Of Me”, where Arthurs also takes on vocal duties. He does this on “I Thought About You” as well, so as Arthurs sings, we get to hear Lamattina play the guitar and give it his all.

    It’s a low-key affair with Jazz For Svetlana, but maybe that’s what it was meant to be, and that’s okay.



    SvetlanaTheoretically, if you were to attempt to fit trumpeter Bob Arthurs into one of those categories jazz writers love so well, he would be a “cool” trumpeter. Bob has played alongside Lee Konitz, Warne Marsh, Sal Mosca, Ted Brown, Warren Vache, Larry Coryell, Bucky Pizzarelli, Chuck Wayne, Tal Farlow, and many others. He knows and likes the music of Lennie Tristano.

    I can envision some of you turning over the leaf and choosing another page, to paraphrase Chaucer; others might be going to another room to, shall we say, put on a sweater.

    But be calm: frigidity is not on the menu, for Bob is an appealing warm trumpeter.

    He doesn’t look back to the Thirties (more to the Fifties) but his approach is gently melodic rather than a clinical exploration of extended harmonies, and although he is on good terms with sixteenth and thirty-second notes, he does not careen through a chorus in the manner of virtuosic beboppers.

    In fact, when I was listening to Bob a few nights ago at Somethin’ Jazz, leading a quintet that featured the esteemed tenor saxophonist Ted Brown, it clicked into my head. A resemblance — not an imitation, but a shading.

    I know that some musicians dislike being compared to the great dead figures, and I understand that: we all, in Yeats’ words, want to be loved for ourselves alone, but I took a chance and said to Bob, “I just realized. If Ted is Lester Young, his own version of Lester, then you are Harry Edison. Perhaps?” And Bob looked pleased and said I had given him a great compliment. I meant it. Not the beep-beep-beep self-parodying Sweets, but the agile swinger, the to-the-point melodic player whose lines had the snap of epigrams.

    You will hear and see more from that evening at Somethin’ Jazz.

    But I have something more tangible for JAZZ LIVES — an actual compact disc of an intimate jazz session — trumpet and guitar and two vocals — that is sweet, to the point, and very rewarding.

    Without being in the least “antique” or “repertory,” Bob and guitarist Steve LaMattina create wonderful jazz that is reminiscent of a Sweets Edison – Charlie Byrd record date for Norman Granz or Carl Jefferson. Easy, melodic, dense with feeling but not with flurries — nothing artificial. The songs are easy medium-tempo explorations . . . but no one will doze off: HOW DEEP IS THE OCEAN / ALL OF ME* / BIRKS’ WORKS / I THOUGHT ABOUT YOU* / NIGHT IN TUNISIA / LONNIE’S BLUES / STELLAR PROBE / MELANCHOLY SERENADE / SWEET GEORGIA BROWN. Bob plays softly but with intensity (often muted) and Steve provides swinging supportive counterpoint. And his singing on two numbers is easy, heartfelt, inventive without being showy: musicians who put down their horns often are wonderful singers (Zoot Sims walking through I CAN’T GET STARTED, for one) and Bob fits right in.

    And the story behind the CD is fittingly sweet. I’ll let Bob tell it:

    The making of our new album, “Jazz for Svetlana,” was a labor of love. The guitarist Steve LaMattina and I have been playing together off and on for about ten years. Our good friend Svetlana, who is a wonderful classical pianist, really loved hearing Steve and I play as a duo. She also kept telling her husband Yuri how much she loved our music. Yuri decided to give her a very special birthday present. He called me one day and said that he would like to produce a duo album of Steve and myself. All he wanted out of it was the first CD to give to Svetlana for her birthday. After that he said we could promote and sell the album wherever and however we wanted. So here we are. The CD has been well received by everyone who got an advance copy. It was a pleasure to record, and I’m happy to say that Svetlana loved her birthday present.

    A present by a loving husband to his musical wife turns out to be a substantial present to us — one that won’t be worn out in a year.

    Here is Bob’s website, with the smiling fellow greeting you. At the top left, you can click on the appropriate icon and hear some music, so you will know I am not inventing what is not there.

    And here is the link to CD Baby to hear brief excerpts from the songs and — I hope — purchase the CD.

    May your happiness increase.


    Jazz for Svetlana CD

    "...So, here we have a guitar/trumpet duo recording of some originals and some standards...This duo has been playing together for a long time so they know each other's moves...its a nice way to spend some time that makes you feel like you're in a hip restaurant that doesn't give a whit about the fiscal cliff lurking out there...A nice offbeat set of fun jazz that feels like it's off the clock and that there's a (small) party going on."     Chris Spector, Editor and Publisher

    Jersey Jazz, Feb Issue

    Jazz for Svetlana CD Review: Jersey Jazz for the February issue

    Review by Joe Lang
    You will not hear many trumpet/guitar duo albums. Jazz for Svetlana (No Label or Catalog Number) pairs trumpeter BOB ARTHURS and guitarist STEVE LAMATTINA for nine thoughtful musical dialogues. These gentlemen have been playing together frequently over a ten year period, and have developed the kind of empathy demanded by a duo setting. There are five standards, “How Deep Is the Ocean,” “All of Me,” “I Thought About You,” “Melancholy Serenade” and “Sweet Gergia Brown;” two Dizzy Gillespie jazz tunes, “Birk’s Works” and “Night in Tunisia;” plus “Lonnie’s Blues” and Stellar Probe,” both composed by Arthurs. Arthurs adds vocals on “All of Me” and “I Thought About You.” He does not have a classic voice, but he has a good feel for phrasing, a trait common among jazz musicians who try their hand at singing. Both players are understated in their playing, giving the session a gentle feeling that has a light swing foundation. They are subtle improvisers who keep you listening for their individual statements, and they keep it interesting throughout. (www.bobarthursmusic.com)

    Jazz Society of Oregon

     Jazz Society of Oregon

    CD Reviews - January 2013

    by George Fendel

    (Last Update 01/2107/2013)Jazz For Svetlana; Bob Arthurs, trumpet and vocals; Steve Lamanttina, guitar.
    There’s an interesting history to this record. It started out as a surprise birthday present for a fan of this sophisticated duo. “Svetlana” loved the gift, and immediately suggested that it be shared as a commercially available recording. And so here it is.There are nine very nice trumpet-guitar duets, each completed in one take. Arthurs and Lamanttina have enjoyed a collaboration for some 10 years, so it’s easy to understand just why this music sounds so completely “unforced” and, if you will, real. Arthurs contributes two originals in “Lonnie’s Blues” and “Stellar Probe.” Other than that, well, you’ll know ‘em all. How about “How Deep Is the Ocean,” “All of Me,” “Birk’s Works,” “I Thought about You,” “Night In Tunisia,” and “Sweet Georgia Brown.” Does anybody out there remember Jackie Gleason’s lovely theme song, “Melancholy Serenade”? Well, Gleason wrote it, and you’ll remember it with appropriate nostalgia when you hear it played by Arthurs and Lamanttina. Just to keep the record straight, Arthurs adds vocal chouses in a hip, casual, musicianly manner on “All of Me” and “I Thought About You.” No gimmickry here. No flash and no extra frosting on this cake. Just two fine musicians in close communication. Records like this need to “just happen” more often.
    IAJRC Journal

    Bob Arthurs & Steve Lamattina

     This music borders on smooth jazz but with a difference.  That is it has much more depth than you would associate with that sort of music. It has a bit in common with some of the music Buck Clayton recorded for theVogue/Mode label back in the early 1960s. He also does sing twice on this CD, on “All of Me”and “I Thought About You”. His vocal efforts are not outstanding but not offensive either. His trumpet work is both open and muted and very pleasant while not heroic. Lamattina plays some very fine guitar both solo and accompaniment. The two together make some very interesting music in a format that one does not hear that often.Both of thee men have been associated with the Music Conservatory of Westchester in the state of New York. Also both have been playing their respective instruments since childhood, in other words a long time. Arthurs claims to be working professionally for over four decades. Lamattina isn’t far behind Arthurs in age.This is a nice change of pace compact disc and is far better than back ground music. As stated above, it has depth and done in good taste.   

    Herb Young

    Jazz For Svetlana  Bob Arthurs (tp, vcl) Steve Lamattina (g). Dobbs Ferry, NY, May 22, 2012How Deep Is The Ocean/All of Me/Birk’s Works/I Thought About You/Night In Tunisia/Lonnie’s Blues/Stellar Probe/Melancholy Serenade/SweetGeorgia Brown TT 52:13   



    Next Gigs

    • Dec 15
      Bella Notte,  Bronx
    • Jan 28
      Riverworks Recording Studio,  Dobbs Ferry

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