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The Magic Band II (Live)

Howard Roberts

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Album Review

Because he chose to spend nearly his entire career as a studio guitarist, there are relatively few recorded examples of Howard Roberts as a bop-oriented jazz player. This 1998 CD has seven privately recorded performances of Roberts at the legendary Donte's club in Los Angeles during May 1968. He stretches out on seven jazz standards with the assistance of pianist Dave Grusin (a few years before he started becoming well-known), bassist Chuck Berghofer, and drummer John Guerin. In addition to four quartet numbers (including "On a Clear Day" and "Alone Together"), Roberts is joined on "Milestones" by tenor saxophonist John Gross, on a burning "Giant Steps" by the young Tom Scott on tenor, and on "Dolphin Dance" by both Scott and fellow tenor Pete Christlieb, who at one point get involved in a saxophone battle. The recording quality is listenable, if not flawless, but the music (which shows that Roberts could jam with the best of them) is somewhat valuable.

Biography

Born: 02 October 1929 in Phoenix, AZ

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

Howard Roberts was a talented guitarist on the level of a Barney Kessel or Herb Ellis, who spent most of his career playing commercial music in the studios. Shortly after he moved to Los Angeles in 1950, Roberts was firmly established in the studios, although on occasion he recorded jazz (most notably twice for Verve during 1956-1959, a Concord session from 1977, and one for Discovery in 1979); however, most of his other output (particularly for Capitol in the 1960s) is of lesser interest. The co-founder...
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The Magic Band II (Live), Howard Roberts
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