The making of our new album, "Jazz for Svetlana," was a labor of love. The guitarist Steve LaMattina and I have been playing together off and on for about ten years. Our good friend Svetlana, who is a wonderful classical pianist, really loved hearing Steve and I play as a duo. She also kept telling her husband Yuri how much she loved our music. Yuri decided to give her a very special birthday present. He called me one day and said that he would like to produce a duo album of Steve and myself. All he wanted out of it was the first CD to give to Svetlana for her birthday. After that he said we could promote and sell the album wherever and however we wanted.
So here we are. The CD has been well received by everyone who got an advance copy. It was a pleasure to record, and I'm happy to say that Svetlana loved her birthday present. –Bob Arthurs
Bob Arthurs is from Hastings-on-Hudson, NY where he began his trumpet lessons at the age of eight. His first teacher was Joe Shepley. At the age of 13, Bob had his first trumpet student and his first gig. The gig paid $3.
The first band he played with was the Variations founded by his friends Alan Freedman and Carl Peachman. They played at high school parties and some school dances. They also had regular jam sessions at Alan's house. Those sessions were great experience, and that's where Bob was first exposed to jazz. Alan's older brother, Joel, who played the upright bass, had dozens of jazz albums and he was constantly playing them on the Hi-Fi. To Bob, those jazz recordings of Miles Davis, Cannonball Adderly, and John Coltrane just seemed so much hipper than the rock 'n roll music that all his schoolmates were listening to. In high school Bob played first trumpet with the concert band, the jazz band, the orchestra and he sang in the school choir. He also acted in a few plays.
After high school Bob attended the Manhattan School of Music, where he studied with the first trumpet of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Mel Broiles. From there he joined the faculty of the Westchester Conservatory of Music (now the Music Conservatory of Westchester). He was on the faculty from 1972 until 2005 when he retired. From 1990 to 2005 he was the school's Dean of Students and Faculty and also the head of its jazz department. As head of the Jazz Department Bob produced many concerts for the school that featured such artists as Wynton Marsalis, Milt Hinton, Max Roach, Sal Mosca, Roy Hargrove, Hank Jones, John Faddis, Lionel Hampton, Christian McBride, Doc Cheatham, and many others. He also organized hundreds of faculty and student recitals and regular jam sessions where students were encouraged to play with professionals.
During the 1970's and 80's Bob studied with the great jazz pianist and teacher, Sal Mosca, and performed with him at the Bim Huis in Amsterdam in 2007. During the 1980's Bob also returned to school and received a Master's degree in Russian Language and Literature from SUNY Albany. Bob spent the 1989 fall semester studying in Moscow and playing with Russian jazz musicians.
The Tristan Quartet: In the mid 1980's Bob began working regularly with a quintet at the Angry Squire in Manhattan. The group had a few personnel changes, but eventually coalesced around Bob, Dave Frank on tenor, Jon Easton on piano, Joe Solomon on bass, and Tim Pleasant on drums. Tim eventually moved to California, but the rest of the band has stayed together for almost 30 years. Tristan is one of the few groups that feature compositions by Lennie Tristano, Warne Marsh, and Lee Konitz in addition to more regular fare. Gigs or not, the group sessions almost every week and has recorded hundreds of hours of their music.
Bob and Steve: Bob has been playing with Steve LaMattina, the guitarist on Jazz for Svetlana, for over ten years. They have worked as a duo and also with rhythm sections of various sizes in many venues in the New York area.
Bob has played and recorded with many jazz artists. He has two CD's under his own name: Notes From the Underground and Jazz for Svetlana (Listen on the audio page). Both CD's feature standards and original compositions and both are available through this website and from CDbaby.com and from iTunes.