Troy Roberts,
(independent, 2011)

Troy Roberts plays jazz that is accessible but not blandly commercial. It is all melodic. There are solos, but they all fit into the framework of Roberts' compositions without any superfluous runs or meaningless jamming. Roberts plays both tenor and soprano sax, but -- although the CD sleeve just credits him on sax -- here it seems to be all or nearly all tenor.

Roberts has an expert supporting team. Eric England on bass and David Chiverton on drums keep a driving background without ever trying to take over. Keyboardist Silvano Monasterios relies on electric piano, using the settings to add variety to the background. Sammy Figueroa on congas and Jose Gregorio on cajon and maracas guest on the longest cut, the 11-minute "Oscar & the Shoe Box."

There is a slight tendency for the songs to sound alike, as they were all written or co-written by Roberts. Most listeners should not mind, though, since they also share Roberts' straight-ahead sax work that never lags.

[ visit the artist's website ]

music review by
Dave Howell

2 July 2011

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