+ Victor Feldman, Curtis Counce, Bert Dahlander, Pete Jolly u. a.
When Howard Roberts (1929 - 1992) decided to teach himself guitar, he decided to visit every black jazz club in his native Phoenix, Arizona. »All we did was play the blues. And that’s what I came out of the blues.« Roberts, however, felt the need to learn more about the complexities of the profession, and so he started studying harmony and composition.
Looking for more musical activity, he moved to Los Angeles in 1950, where he gigged around the city in jam sessions at after-hours clubs. There, he developed his dazzling technique and fine harmonic sense. Having played with the best instrumentalists and composers, he started getting calls for session work.
He established his reputation with the Bobby Troup trio, which appeared on TV from coast to coast, and consolidated the fame of Troup’s group with some brilliant playing of his Gibson guitar, so much so that the Down Beat jazz critics accorded Roberts the New Guitar Star Award of 1955.
In the years following he continued recording with top jazz singers and instrumentists, and eventually made his first albums as a leader for Verve. In 1959 Roberts started getting more and more work on TV and film, but not content with settling down in the Hollywood studios, in a kind of prosperous obscurity, he kept very active in the jazz scene, playing concerts and recording his own albums.
Howard Roberts was a skilled guitarist with a fondness for direct and unencumbered jazz playing, his tone always bright and penetrating, never twangy. A fine technician, he was able to execute difficult passages cleanly and forcefully. He forged a sound of his own, fiery and hard-swinging, creative and unpretentious. These sessions are an example of his jazz work, as a sideman and as a leader.