Howard Roberts

Magic Band, Vol. 2

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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.

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