Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Howard Roberts - 1965 - Goodies

Howard Roberts

01. Love 2:20
02. Who Can I Turn To (When Nobody Needs Me) 2:25
03. Three O'Clock In The Morning 2:25
04. Girl Talk 2:49
05. Fly Me To The Moon (In Other Words) 2:34
06. Goodies 2:54
07. More 2:30
08. I Know A Place 2:22
09. Summer Wind 1:45
10. Chim Chim Cher-ee

Bass – Charles Berghofer* (tracks: A1 to A3, A5 to B3, B5), Max Bennett (tracks: A4, B4)
Bass Guitar – Carol Kaye (tracks: B3), John Gray (2) (tracks: A4, B4)
Drums – Frank Capp (tracks: A4, B4), Hal Blaine (tracks: B3), Larry Bunker (tracks: A5, B1, B2, B5), Shelly Manne (tracks: A1 to A3, A6)
Guitar – Donald Peake* (tracks: B3, B5), Thomas Tedesco* (tracks: B3)
Guitar [Solo] – Howard Roberts
Organ – Charles Kynard (tracks: B3, B5), Henry Cain (tracks: A1 to A3, A5 to B2), Pete Jolly (tracks: A4, B4)
Percussion – Larry Bunker (tracks: B3)
Rhythm Guitar – John Pisano (tracks: A4, B4)

Of the dozens of studio guitarists who all but lived in the jazz and pop recording studios of Los Angeles in the 1960s, Howard Roberts probably had the easiest sound. With the advent of pop-rock in 1964, Roberts earned a solid living adding the guitar to albums marketed to young adults. But it would be unfair to categorize Roberts as Easy Listening, since he was nearly always swinging and was often accompanied by an organ in the '60s, which gave his sound a funky, hip twist
Though Roberts recorded a couple of albums as a leader in the mid-1950s for Verve, he didn't come into his own until 1963, when he began recording for Capitol. By my count, Roberts recorded 10 albums under his name for the label between 1963 and 1969 that straddled jazz and pop—including swinging movie themes, British Invasion hits, transistor radio singles and even Sinatra fare. All are uniformly superb, since Roberts was a master of teasing out any song's essence and beauty. Roberts also tended to favor the lower register of his Gibson guitar, which gave his instrument's "voice" a deep, masculine sound.
As one of the most in-demand session guitarists in the 1960s, Roberts was often called in to record rock and pop. As drummer Hal Blaine [above] told me yesterday, "Howard wasn't part of the Wrecking Crew's nucleus but he was with us many times augmenting the sound. He was on lots of sessions with us, including dates produced by Phil Spector. Howard was one of the few guys who walked out of a Spector session after Spector insisted that Howard use a particular fingering on the guitar. I suspect Howard couldn't handle some punk from New York telling him how to handle a guitar."
Among my favorite Roberts recordings for Capitol is Goodies, his fourth album for that label that was recorded in 1965. On the album, Roberts was featured with a quartet, but the musician who made up that group were wide-ranging. Here are the original album's two sides (A and B) and the varied personnel accompanying Roberts