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JUAN MARTÍN

Prog Folk • Spain


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Juan Martín biography
Juan Cristóbal Martín - Born 1948 (Málaga, Spain)

Juan Martin is a flamenco guitarist who, like Paco De Lucia, broaden his musical horizon. He went to England, wrote some great flamenco books and played together with rock musicians. In 1981 he made an album with known progrock musicians like Tony Hymas (Jeff Beck), Johnny Gustafson (Quatermass and Roxy Music) and drummers Simon Phillips and Ian Mosley (Trace and Marillion). This album is a splendid blend of the authentic sound of the flamenco and the technical sound of the progressive rock.

Why this artist must be listed in www.progarchives.com : This album is an excellent progressive blend of flamenco and rock featuring known progrock musicians.
See also: WiKi

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4.88 | 11 ratings
Picasso Portraits
1981

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JUAN MARTÍN Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Picasso Portraits by MARTÍN, JUAN album cover Studio Album, 1981
4.88 | 11 ratings

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Picasso Portraits
Juan Martín Prog Folk

Review by TenYearsAfter

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 prog. Just listen to Paco the Lucia and his trio with John McLaughlin and Al DiMeola, and his awesome prog folk with The Paco De Lucia Sextet. Or flamenco legend Sabicas with Joe Beck, featuring a young Tony Levin. But this review is about Juan Martin, a flamenco player who wanted to broaden his musical horizon and moved to England. He wrote books about the flamenco guitar technique and played with a wide range of rock musicians. The album Picasso Portraits is one of his many musical projects and in my opinion a masterpiece. In 1981 it was released on vinyl and in 1994 as a CD reissue, it sounds excellent, more clear and more depth than the LP, but unfortunately no bonustracks. And the booklet is very simple, with only the original information and a list of CD's you can buy from Juan Martin.

On this record Juan Martin has invited an impressive list of guest musicians, including drummer Ian Mosley (Trace and Marillion), bass player John Gustafson (Quatermass and Roxy Music), Simon Phillips (one of the best session drummers of all times) and keyboardist Tony Hymas (with Simon Phillips 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, like the Rock Andaluz.

You can enjoy awesome musicianship and captivating atmospheres.

Great interplay between the quick flamenco guitar runs and a dynamic rhythm-section, embellished by the typical flamenco handclapping (palmas) in Harlequin.

A sensitive duet from the flamenco guitar and the Memorymoog synthesizer and halfway there is a sensational break featuring sweeping drums, spectacular synthesizer sounds and rattling castannettes. This is followed by a mid-tempo beat with splendid runs on the guitar and a fine colouring by the keyboards in Desire Caught By The Tail.

A swinging and catchy rhythm with a funky bass, powerful drums and exciting rasgueado play (quick downward strokes from the nails on the guitar strings) in Three Musicians,

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 and pitchbend-driven Moog flights in The Aficionado.

My highlights are two very special sounding compositions.

First Girls Of Algiers (based upon a 'zambra mora', the most Arabian-influenced flamenco rhythm): it starts with swelling keyboards, drums and bass, then great interplay between the flamenco guitar, keyboards and rhytm- section, 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, goose bumps!

Second The Picador: a cheerful climate ' malaguenas - 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 abundant atmosphere.

On this album also a wonderful, very sensitive solo flamenco guitar piece (Weeping Woman) and a short but sparkling version of Asturias by famous Spanish composer Isaac Albeniz, entitled Self Portrait (great interplay between the flamenco guitar and the drums and bass).

A masterpiece, in every way, and how exciting: a virtuosic and adventurous flamenco guitarist plays with oustanding progrock musicians who joined Trace, Marillion, Jeff Beck and Roxy Music, the best of two contrasting worlds, you can't beg for more. So highly recommended, especially to the fans of jazzrock, Rock Andaluz and progressive folk.

 Picasso Portraits by MARTÍN, JUAN album cover Studio Album, 1981
4.88 | 11 ratings

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Picasso Portraits
Juan Martín Prog Folk

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

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.

 Picasso Portraits by MARTÍN, JUAN album cover Studio Album, 1981
4.88 | 11 ratings

BUY
Picasso Portraits
Juan Martín Prog Folk

Review by erik neuteboom
Prog Reviewer

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!!


Thanks to erik neuteboom for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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