Biography All Music Guide
All Music Guide:
Singer/songwriter and acoustic folk-jazz guitarist Artie Traum was based in Woodstock, New York. Born in the Bronx, he followed his brother Happy into folk music in the early '60s in the New York area, taking guitar lessons from jazz artists. He and his brother formed the folk-rock group the Children of Paradise in the mid-'60s and, after Happy's departure, they changed their name to Bear and recorded an album for Verve Forecast. Traum moved to Woodstock in 1967 and worked as a record producer and composer of film soundtracks. He also recorded albums with his brother and with the Woodstock Mountain Revue. After Traum's 1986 solo acoustic guitar album Cayenne, Traum began moving in a jazzier direction and using a number of sidemen from the electric jazz and fusion world (including guitarist David Torn and bassist Tony Levin) on 1993's new age-flavored Letters from Joubée. The View from Here (1996) and Meetings with Remarkable Friends (1999) continued Traum's expansive folk-jazz approach with numerous high-profile collaborators (including the likes of Steve Swallow, David Sancious, John Sebastian, Adrian Belew, Béla Fleck, David Grisman, and members of the Band), while The Last Romantic (2001) downsized the guitarist's cast of musician friends and South of Lafayette (2002) saw Traum returning to his singer/songwriter roots, albeit while retaining his acoustic jazz leanings. Released in 2007, Thief of Time also featured Traum in acoustic singer/songwriter mode. Artie Traum died of liver cancer in July 2008; he was 65 years old.