Troy Roberts – “Stuff I Heard” Self-Released
By the time he was about twenty years old, Roberts had already been through the West Australian Academy of the Performing Arts, received a Bachelor of Music and a master’s degree in music from the University of Miami. His awards include three Downbeat SM Jazz Soloist awards and two Grammy nominations. He has performed with artists such as Aretha Franklin, Van Morrison and Christian McBride as well as contributing to about fifty works as a sideman. “Stuff I Heard” is his twelfth release of music under his own name. While his main instrument is the sax, he is not limited to it only. In fact, on this recording, he plays sax, acoustic and electric bass across all nine tracks. This is a traditional jazz release with complex melodies. With Roberts playing multiple instruments and the only other musician being Jimmy Macbride on drums, one might think this work might be a little thin. Not so. With the excellent arrangements, the overall presentation sounds like there are more than two performers. It ranges from very soft and reflective to upbeat and well-paced. Roberts wanted to push some boundaries with this release. How well he has done so is for him to decide. As for me, I thought it was outstanding.