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Juan Martín

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Juan Martín Picasso Portraits album cover
4.88 | 12 ratings | 3 reviews | 67% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1981

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Harlequin (3:29)
2. Desire Caught By The Tail (3:57)
3. Three Musicians (2:54)
4. Sleeping Girl (4:27)
5. Self Portrait (3:51)
6. The Aficionado (4:45)
7. Girls Of Algiers (6:10)
8. Weeping Woman (5:16)
9. The Picador (3:38)

Total time 38:27

Line-up / Musicians

- Juan Martín / guitars, arranger, composer (excl. 5,9)

- Rod Edwards / keyboards (1,2,4-7,9)
- Tony Hymas / keyboards (1,2,6,7)
- John Gustafson / bass (1,2,6,7)
- John G. Perry / bass (3,4,9)
- Simon Phillips / drums (1,2,6,7)
- Ian Mosley / drums (3,5,9)
- Elisa / castanets (2)

Releases information

Artwork: Alwyn Clayden based on "Three Musicians" 1921 painting by Pablo Picasso

LP Polydor ‎- POLD 5048 (1981, UK)

CD Flamencovision - CD FV 03 (1998, Spain)

Thanks to erik neuteboom for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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JUAN MARTÍN Picasso Portraits ratings distribution

(12 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(67%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(8%)
Good, but non-essential (25%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

JUAN MARTÍN Picasso Portraits reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by erik neuteboom
5 stars Juan Martin is a flamenco player who wanted to broaden his musical horizon, just like PACO DE LUCIA did by founding a trio with JOHN MACLAUGHIN and AL DIMEOLA in the early Eighties. Juan moved to England, wrote books about the flamenco guitar technique and played together with rock musicians. This album is one of his many musical projects and in my opinion his best and a great one to discover for the visitors and reviewers of this site. On this album Juan Martin has invited an impressive list of guest musicians: drummer IAN MOSLEY (TRACE/MARILLION), bass player JOHN GUSTAFSON (QUATERMASS/ROXY MUSIC), SIMON PHILLIPS (one of the best session drummers) and keyboardist TONY HYMAS (both on the splendid JEFF BECK albums "Wired" and "There and back"). The result is an exciting meeting between the world of the flamenco guitar and the progressive rock, this is one of my favorite LP's and recently released as a digitally remastered CD version. 1) "Harlequin" First soaring keyboards from Tony Hymas and then exciting interplay between the quick flamenco guitar runs and a dynamic rhythm-section (Phillips/Gustafson), embellished by the typical flamenco handclapping. 2) "Desire caught by the tail" This is a sensitive duet from the flamenco guitar and the synthesizer (Memorymoog). Halfway there is a sensational break featuring sweeping drums, spectacular synthesizer sounds and rattling castannettes followed by a mid-tempo with splendid runs on the guitar and a fine colouring by the keyboards. 3) "Three musicians" We can enjoy a swinging and catchy rhythm with a funky bass by John G. Perry, powerful drums from Ian Mosley and exciting rasgueado play (quick downward strokes from the nails on the guitar strings). 4) "Sleeping girl" This piece is in the vein of the famous romantic guitar piece "Romance d'amor" delivering a sensitive duet from a twanging acoustic guitar and mellow sparkling piano, WONDERFUL! 5) "Self portrait" The start is like "Spanish caravan" from The Doors: a bit sultry flamenco guitar, culminating in spectacular and propulsive interplay between the flamenco guitar, rhythm-section (Mosley/Perry) and keyboards, it sounds pleasantly bombastic. 6) "The aficionado" An exciting blend of typcial flamenco elements (based a 'bulerias', one of the more complex flamenco rhythms) and the technical sound of the progrock: handclapping and quick flamenco runs blended with a funky bass (Gustafson) and pitchbend-driven Moog flights from Hymas, VERY SPECTACULAR! 7) "Girls of Algiers" This one is based on a 'zambra mora', the most Arabian-influenced flamenco rhythms. First swelling keyboards, drums and bass, then great interplay between the flamenco guitar, keyboards and rhytm-section, its sounds very dynamic. The tension between the spectacular Moog flights from Hymas and the quick runs on the flamenco guitar delivers a captivating climate, in the end there is a magnificent duel, THIS IS PERHAPS THE FINEST MOMENT ON THIS ALBUM! 8) "Weeping woman" Here is the only solo guitar track from Juan Martin, it introduces you to the wonderful art of the flamenco guitar and sounds very varied with halfway a great build-up, very moving. 9) "The picador" The 'malaguena' is perhaps the most famous flamenco rhythm, you will recognize it for sure! It is a cheerful climate with catchy and powerful interplay from the flamenco guitar, rhythm-section and keyboards featuring sensational Moog runs. Halfway the music slows down and then goes faster and faster until an ebullient atmosphere, what a 'grand finale'! THIS ALBUM IS NOT JUST ANOTHER SMOOTH RUMBA-DRENCHED BLEND OF FLAMENCO AND ROCK BUT AN EXCELLENT MEETING OF THE FLAMENCO GUITAR AND THE PROGRESSIVE ROCK, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!
Review by Tarcisio Moura
5 stars I found this marvelous album in 1982 and I had to have it! Juan Martin is a spanish flamenco guitar virtuoso who decided in 1981 to record some songs he had written inspired by Pablo Picasso´s most famous paintings with a prog rock band background. He also adapted two popular tunes (a short version of Albeniz Asturias, here titled Self Portrait and an adaptation of Lecuona Malaguena, probably the most famous flamenco song, here renamed as The Picador) for this LP. For this work he recruited some of the finest studio musicians available: Simon Phillips (The Who, 801) and Ian Mosley (Trace, Marillion) on drums, John Gustafson (Roxy Music, Quartermass) and John C. Perry on bass guitar, Tony Hymas (Jeff Beck, PHD) and Rod Edwards on keyboards.

The resulting album is one of the most interesting mix of authentic Flamenco music and prog rock that I have ever seen, and heard. It´s a totally instrumental CD that shows not only Martin great technic on the guitar and his tasteful arrangements but also his talent as a songwriter. The album is a bit short (only 37 minutes of music to be more precise), but absolutely marvelous all the way through, with not a single weak moment to be found. Tony Hymas does some fantastic keyboards/guitar duels/solos that sends shivers down the spine, specially on The aficionado, with its strong arabic influences. The combination of John Gustafson bass lines and Phillips artsy drumming is pure joy on tracks like Harlequin and Desire Caught By The Tail, but they are all fantastic. Martin was right to look for prog musicians who could handle the many tempo and mood changes that this kind of music has and the result is nothing short of a masterpiece.

The production is excellent for the time

It´s really a shame that Juan Martin did not release another album within this musical format. But he left one of the best instrumental albums of all time and is surely recommended to anybody who likes great music in general and the flamenco style in particular.

Rating: this is a essential CD, a masterpiece of progressive rock music. 5 stars with honors.

Latest members reviews

5 stars My review # 150 : flamenco meets prog, goose bumps! When traditional flamenco guitarists are breaking the rules and start searching for a musical adventure, it's high alert for those who are interested in exciting and captivating encounters between flamenco and p ... (read more)

Report this review (#1937334) | Posted by TenYearsAfter | Tuesday, June 5, 2018 | Review Permanlink

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