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Juan Martín - Picasso Portraits CD (album) cover

PICASSO PORTRAITS

Juan Martín

 

Prog Folk

4.88 | 11 ratings

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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.

Tarcisio Moura | 5/5 |

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