Howard Roberts - Good Pickin's

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2021 Japanese CD reissue.

Issued in 1959, Howard Roberts' Good Pickin's was his second album for Verve as a leader. It is as straight-up a blowing date as you're likely to find, though it has wonderful harmonic invention thanks to the two arrangers on the date -- Bill Holman, who also plays tenor, and Marty Paich. The rest of the date is rounded out by pianist Pete Jolly, bassist Red Mitchell, and drummer Stan Levey. The tunes range from standards like "All the Things You Are" and "Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea" to straight-up bebop in Charlie Parker's "Relaxin' at Camarillo" and George Wallington's "Godchild."

The lone original on the set, which closes the album, is Roberts' "Terpsichore." It is also the longest on the platter. It's a slow blues that's unimaginative but allows everyone in the band to blow. The tenor/guitar heads on these tunes work well thanks to tight, colorful arrangements that accent the sharpness in the chosen songs. The straight-up soloing works because it is reined in tightly, keeping the melodic invention at the forefront. This is a solid date and should be checked out by anyone interested in jazz guitar.

AllMusicGuide

(4988031451168)

SKU 4988031451168
Barcode # 4988031451168
Brand Verve Records / Universal Japan

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