Recordings

Your average bossa nova singer is unlikely to step outside characters enough to admit that "in all its innocence my samba/May be hiding some malice within."

In Arto's case, his samba better be, because his totally limited voice is at best only passably pretty while rendering Al Green's "Simply Beautiful." Yet when his conversational sing-read bumps up against Spooky's sequencer gravel on the title track, or turns Prince's deflowering come-on "Erotic City" into something coolly--maybe even coldly--diplomatic, Arto's careerlong ability to misplace himself seamlessly within disconsolate styles becomes friendlier, and ever more pleasurable, than any NYC coolness I've ever come across.

--Jon Dolan

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