Howard Roberts

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Howard Roberts (* 2. October 1929 in Phoenix , Arizona ; † 28. June 1992 ) was an American jazz guitarist of modern jazz , studio musician and guitar teacher .

Live and act

Howard Roberts started playing the guitar at the age of eight. At the age of 15 he worked as a professional musician with local bands. In 1950 he moved to Los Angeles . With the support of Jack Marshall , he began to work with musicians such as Bobby Troup , Chico Hamilton and Barney Kessel . In 1956, Bobby Troup referred him to Verve Records , where he worked as a studio musician. In addition to this activity, he was involved in many recordings as a session musician up until the 1970s. He also appeared in clubs with his own formations and recorded records under his own name, such as Movin 'Man, Velvet Groove, Good Pickin' and The Real Howard Roberts . In the West Coast jazz scene , Roberts was a frequent session musician for Buddy DeFranco , Shorty Rogers , Pete Candoli and Conte Candoli , Art Pepper and Buddy Collette , and he also worked for Oliver Nelson , Thelonious Monk ( Monk's Blues , 1969), Gerry Mulligan and Hank Jones .

Roberts played rhythm guitar , lead guitar , bass and mandolin and was involved in numerous studio, TV and film projects while working in Hollywood , such as:

  • Lead guitar in the theme music for the TV series The Twilight Zone (1959).
  • Guitar in the cover story of The Munsters .
  • Rhythm guitar in the title theme of I Dream of Jeannie .

Howard Roberts has also accompanied numerous artists such as Georgie Auld , Peggy Lee ( Fever ), Eddie Cochran ( Sittin 'In The Balcony ), Bobby Day ( Rockin' Robin ), Jody Reynolds ( Endless Sleep ), Shelley Fabares ( Johnny Angel ), Dean Martin ( Houston ), The Monkees , Roy Clark , Chet Atkins and The Electric Prunes .

In 1963 Roberts recorded his albums Color Him Funky and HR Is A Dirty Guitar Player Capitol , accompanied by his quartet consisting of Roberts (guitar), Chuck Berghofer (bass), Earl Palmer (drums) and Paul Bryant, and Burkley Kendrix on the organ . After nine albums for Capitol, he recorded for ABC Impulse .

From the late 1960s onwards, Roberts began working more as a teacher. He has taught guitar workshops, regularly wrote the jazz improvisation column in Guitar Player magazine and published several textbooks. He also founded the Guitar Institute of Technology and Playback Publishing . After Howard Roberts death, his wife Patty continued his educational activities.

Discography (selection)

  • Good Pickin’s (1959)
  • Color Him Funky (1963)
  • HR Is A Dirty Guitar Player (1963)
  • Something's Cookin (1965)
  • Goodies (1965)
  • Whatever's Fair! (1966)
  • Jaunty-Jolly! (1967)
  • Guilty !! (1967)
  • Antelope Freeway (1971, Impulse; CD Reissue 2011)
  • Equinox Express Elevator (1975 Impulse; CD Reissue 2011)
  • The Real Howard Roberts (1977) with Ray Brown
  • Release of An Oath (1968)


  • The Howard Roberts' Guitar Book (1971), Playback Music Publishing Company
  • Howard Roberts Guitar Manual (1972), Playback Music Publishing Company
  • Howard Roberts Guitar Manual Chord Melody (1972), Playback Music Publishing Company
  • Super Solos (1977), Playback Music Publishing Company
  • Super Chops (1978), Playback Music Publishing Company
  • Guitar Compendium, Vol. 1-3 (1989), Advance Music


Web links