Howard roberts quartet this is howard roberts color him funky - Music from 1900-1923 including Music from World War I.


Howard Roberts guitar style can be truly described as eclectic. Few can play with the combination of fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants abandon and excitement, virtuosic finesse, imagination, and soulful blues feeling that Howard generated...often within a single phrase! Roberts was a astonishing improviser of jazz guitar and one of its greatest innovators. There wasn't an element of music he didn't explore and apply in his approach--melodic, rhythmic and thematic development, harmonic experiments, counterpoint, texture, sound effects, dynamic contrasts and phrasing nuances. His style is as modern and awe-inspiring today as it must have seemed when he first floored audiences back in the fifties and sixties.

In the sixties Howard pioneered a style of jazz rarely heard in the genre. His solos in the apex of the Capitol period (1963-1968) were unusually concise and compact and the tunes themselves averaged two minutes or so in length, a significant departure from the lengthy blowing of most jazz recordings to this day. In what would have been a rigid and constricting environment for most jazz soloists Howard was an unstoppable creative force; fashioning improvisations of great clarity and logic delivered with an unbridled energy and unpredictable phrasing. He treated his listeners to the full spectrum of his musical experience in a microcosm, wherein each solo was a memorable gem. 

Roberts' improvisations were immediately recognizable and filled with his musical trademarks. In addition to his technical command of the hard bop vocabulary he employed intervallic sounds based on odd finger patterns which he called "sonic shapes." These produced striking angular melodies within otherwise brilliant but more conventional jazz lines. Howard also juxtaposed earthy blues and funk licks freely into his playing creating unexpected mood swings while improvising.

Howard described his alternate picking technique as "circle picking." "Circle picking is a thing that came as a result of my playing bebop when I was a kid. There was no conscious attempt on my part to develop it; it just happened to accommodate the music I was doing. It was the only way I could get the notes out. I use the fingers and wrist when I pick. You know how most people write, by moving their thumb and forefinger...Just like writing your name across the strings."

PERCUSSION  – William “Bill” Bates has been a regular player in the Buffalo area and beyond since the ‘60s.  Starting to play in 1959, his instructors included John Rowland (a percussionist who spent four decades with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra).   Bill has played in countless groups - running the style gamut from rockabilly, blues, country, Motown, swing, jazz… you name it.  This broad range of experience allows him to play with a diverse group of musicians.  While Bill has had the pleasure of filling in with many top musicians in Western New York and Southern Ontario, he has played with several groups, including Tommy & the Midnights, The Milestones, Numeral IV, The Great Day, Frank Gerard-Mike O’Boyle Organ Trio, Jimmy Kay, Full Tilt Blues Band, Nickel City Clippers, Four Point Play, Bison  City Stompers, Jeffrey Arthur Group, Joe Giambra, Joe Baudo, Razz Ma Tazz, Summer of ’69, Jazz Quest Trio, Bates-White Duo.    

Jay Roberts has been a dedicated educator and performer since his early teen age years. He was raised in a musical family environment with parents who were both noted professionals. Jay availed himself of the opportunity to learn and grow as a player excelling on both guitar and drums. Today, his stylistic interests are widely varied. He’s adept at rock, blues, country, Latin jazz and bebop. As the founder of Roberts Music Institute, Jay has personally influenced over 50,000 students. With a highly developed background in improvising and accelerated learning techniques acquired from years of study with his father, Howard, Jay enjoys sharing the tools of the trade with his students. By producing the Howard Roberts Project, Jay thoroughly explored the history and legacy of his father, an achievement that evoked the very fond memories of hanging out with . and playing guitar every night with his best friend and mentor. 


Howard Roberts Quartet This Is Howard Roberts Color Him FunkyHoward Roberts Quartet This Is Howard Roberts Color Him FunkyHoward Roberts Quartet This Is Howard Roberts Color Him FunkyHoward Roberts Quartet This Is Howard Roberts Color Him Funky

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