The Last Romantic
Ever the eloquent storyteller, Artie Traum brings his guitar wizardry and far-reaching cultural sensibilities to The Last Romantic (Narada 72438-10687-2-4; 55:44), a revealing work of consistent, gentle beauty. Each song here-from the skipping rhythms and spindly acoustic interweavings of "Braziliana" to the meditative, rolling chords and haunted melody of "The Sun at Worldset"-is a wordless tale, and an adventure told on Traum's distinctive fretboard. As on prior efforts, the guitarist brings a light, natural touch that makes even the most complicated arrangements and dynamics sound easy. "Against the Odds," for example, is a bluesy, swinging piece of breathtaking timing and speed, with incredible dynamics, while "The Two Rubys" is a resonant romance, played out in the higher range and sparkling harmonics of Traum's instrument. Add to the mix the guitarist's uncanny ability to mix jazz with Appalachian folk and you have another completely absorbing, distinctive effort.