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Arturo Stable: Notes On Canvas

Mark F. Turner By

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The arts of jazz and painting are both siblings of self expression. Whether the artist skillfully paints a fresco or articulates ideas in music, the result is one of creative insight. Such is the case for Notes On Canvas by master percussionist/composer Arturo Stable, who gives music interpretations to some of his favorite paintings by Vincent Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Claude Monet, and others.

From Cuba to the Bronx, Stable draws inspiration from his father, Arturo Sr., (a musician and painter), travels, and performances with stars including saxophonists Yosvany Terry and Jane Bunnett. With the full scope of many experiences, Stable's vision of art, music, and poetry is brought to life on this recording.

Notes On Canvas, Stable's second release as a leader, shows a music menagerie of Latin jazz styles that is rooted in tradition yet modernly inventive. Connected with an illustrious cast that includes Grammy winners (saxophonists Paquito D'Rivera, David Sanchez) and new-bloods (drummer Dafnis Prieto and pianist Aruan Ortiz); each composition is as thought-provoking and vivid as the paintings represented.

"La Jungla (The Jungle) by Cuban painter Wilfedo Lam, has a sweltering 6/8 tempo that includes David Sanchez's warm tenor sax, affecting spoken word and a superb conga solo by Stable. The dark subject matter of Picasso's "Guernica, is perfectly interpreted in a trio setting, with John Lockwood's hypnotic bass and saxophonist George Garzone's dissonant tenor soloing as Stable colors the heartrending melody with percussion.

The music/painting selections cover a range of contrasts from the Miles Davis balladry of Leonardo D' Vinci's "Gioconda, with muted trumpet by Barry Ries to the unique re-imaging of "Van Gogh's Self Portrait, a swinging conga-spiced tune with a thick bass and piano melody.

There are other lasting impressions, such as the folkloric/contemporary "La Venta Magica (The Magical Window), painted by Arturo Sr., featuring guitarist Rene Izquierdo and clarinetist Paquito D'Rivera. The modernist "Composition #8, by Russian-born abstract artist Wassily Kandinsky, and "Clock Explosion by Spanish surrealist painter Salvador Dali; are each re-envisioned by Stable and an excellent cast of musicians.

Like any great visual work, the compositions on this recording can be interpreted in various ways, yielding new insights. As an added bonus, there are detailed liner notes and images of the paintings; making Notes On Canvas an outstanding release by an up-and-coming artist who uses jazz as the canvas on which to express his own ideas.

Track Listing: La Jungla (The Jungle); Guernica; Impression/Sunrise; Frida's Self Portrait; Gioconda; Van Gogh's Self Portrait; La Ventana M

Personnel: Arturo Stable: congas, percussion, spoken words; Aruan Ortiz: piano (3,5,6,8,9); Barry Ries trumpet (5); Charles Flores bass (1); Dafnis Prieto: drums (1); David Sanchez: tenor sax (1); Esperanza Spalding: voice, spoken words(4); Fernando Huergo: bass (4); Francisco Mela: drums (3, 5, 6, 8, 9); George Garzone: tenor sax (2, 9); John Lockwood: bass (2); Osmany Paredes: piano (1); Paquito D

Title: Notes On Canvas | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Origen Records


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