CD review: Bob Arthurs & Steve Lamattina – Jazz It Up! Ukrainian Songs For Three Dads 2018: Video

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This is a totally new venture for guitarist Steve LaMattina and me. We’ve done two other “Jazz For” albums in the last few years: “Jazz for Svetlana” and “Jazz for Molly”, both available through CD Baby, but when concert pianist and director of the Music in the Alps Music Festival in Austria (musicinthealps.com) Irena Portenko asked us to do this project featuring Ukrainian folk songs, we were a little stumped.

We were unfamiliar with these Ukrainian melodies and we weren’t sure we could turn them into jazz while still doing them justice. After figuring out harmonies and rehearsing a few times we decided to go ahead with the recording and hope for the best. I even learned some Ukrainian lyrics so I could do a few vocals. Well, thanks to Irena and recording engineer Sergei Kvitko I think we managed to pull it off. I just heard from some Ukrainian friends and they seemed to like it. We hope you do too. Irena is dedicating this album to Three Dads: her Father, her Uncle, and her Husband. Her words are below: Bob Arthurs

Jazz for Three Dads is a gift. I learned from my friends Svetlana and Yuri Gorokhovich, that Bob Arthurs and Steve Lamattina have done a couple of CDs-dedications to them and members of their family.

Driven to create something special for my father’s 75th Birthday, and also by my love for Ukraine, pride of my upbringing and admiration for Ukrainian people, I had thought of bringing some of the most favorite Ukrainian songs (of course, there are many many more) to the next level and spread the word.

I know, that jazz rendition of the folk music has been popular for awhile, and I hope this recording, that started as a gift for one dad, will be a gift for many people. I can see how Bob’s music performances have inspired many audiences in the United States, abroad and, most recently in Austria at Music in the Alps International Festival 2017, where he came as a guest
Irena Portenko.

  1. Blackthorn Is in Blossom 3:09
  2. Marigolds, That My Mother Planted 3:59
  3. My Dear Mother 5:33
  4. Oh, Girl 2:47
  5. Hutzul Girl Ksenia 3:01
  6. Moon in the Sky 2:40
  7. Kyiv Waltz 6:02
  8. Walking Around the Garden 3:52
  9. Do Not Ask Why My Eyes Are Teary 5:06
  10. Why Haven’t You Come 1:28
  11. Blues for Ukraine 4:47

Bob Arthurs: trumpet, flugelhorn, vocals.

Steve LaMattina: guitar.

Blue griffin

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